Back behind bars - armed robber who escaped custody

AN ARMED robber who went on a crime rampage after he was sprung from a prison van outside Barking Magistrates Court a year ago, has been jailed for 16 years. Tony Turner, 28, masterminded a series of gunpoint heists across the south of England after he w

AN ARMED robber who went on a crime rampage after he was sprung from a prison van outside Barking Magistrates' Court a year ago, has been jailed for 16 years.

Tony Turner, 28, masterminded a series of gunpoint heists across the south of England after he was freed. He was eventually found at a motel.

Turner appeared at Woolwich Crown Court guarded by a heavily armed police escort.

His younger brother Joe Turner, 21, of Vincent Road, Dagenham, was jailed for four years after being convicted of perverting the course of justice by helping him escape.


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Dion Williams, 24, who assisted his escape and also took part in a robbery was locked up for 10 years.

Turner was on remand for a series of raids when he was driven from Pentonville prison to Barking. It is believed he smuggled a mobile phone into the prison van and kept in contact with two men in a stolen green Jaguar following close behind.

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When the van reached the court and the prisoner was taken out wearing handcuffs, the two men raced from the car wearing balaclavas and brandishing pistols.

They held their weapons to the guard's head, then used boltcutters to release Turner.

Tony Turner, of no fixed address, admitted conspiracy to rob custodians of cash in transit vehicles and two counts of conspiracy to possess imitation firearms with intent to rob.

He was in custody for these offences when he escaped in April last year.

He also admitted conspiracy to rob and conspiracy to possess firearms and escaping from lawful custody on April 2, 2008.

Williams, of Ramsgate, admitted perverting the course of justice, attempted robbery and possessing a firearm with criminal intent.

Turner's girlfriend, Kirsten Morton, of no fixed address, admitted perverting the course of justice. She will be sentenced at a later date.

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