Armed robber jailed after Dagenham travel agents alert police

AN armed robber who struck six times has been jailed for eight and a half years after vigilant staff at a Dagenham travel agents alerted police.

Matthew Brooomfield, 37, of Chatteris Avenue, Romford, had cashed �30,000 during a series of robberies between October 27 last year and April 6 of this year.

Using an fake hand gun or a knife, he demanded staff to hand over cash at six bookmakers and travel agents, including First Choice travel agents, East Street, Barking, on February 17 this year.

His first heist at a Hornchurch branch of a Coral bookmakers, left his victim traumatised and in need of counselling.

Broomfield threatened manager Paul MacArthur with a knife, tied together his hands and feet with cable ties and locked him in a cupboard while he helped himself to the safe’s contents.

When he entered Thompson Travel, Reede Road, Dagenham, on May 21 this year, staff recognised him from a suspect image circulated by police.

They called the police who then arrested him.

Most Read

Broomfield pleaded guilty to six counts of robbery and to three counts of possession of a firearm with intent to use and was sentenced at the Old Bailey on Monday (September 27).

Christopher Hehir, for the prosecution, said: “He apologised and said his son was ill and he needed money for medical treatment,

“He said he would be back later. He left a note on the window of the premises saying the shop would not be open until later due to technical difficulties.”

Judge Peter Rook told Broomfield: “These are all very serious offences as you well know.

“You would visit premises posing as a genuine customer then having ingratiated yourself with the staff you would subsequently return and rob the premises, on three occasions you had with you an imitation firearm.

“The staff were not to know it was an imitation and must have been greatly traumatised by your actions.”

He said that Mr MacArthur had been needing counselling as a result of his actions.

DCI Ian Corner of the Metropolitan Police’s North East flying squad said: “Broomfield thought nothing of using a firearm to influence his demands and terrify and intimidate people doing their jobs.

“I would like to pay tribute to members of staff at Thompson Travel in Dagenham who acted so quickly in providing important information which led to Broomfield’s arrest

“They should be proud of their actions in that they have assisted in putting a dangerous individual behind bars.

“I would also like to thank my officers for their hard work and determination in arresting Broomfield and bringing him to justice.”