'Fagin' and his teen robbers locked up

A FAGIN-style crime boss who organised a security van raid while standing trial for robbery has been jailed for nine years. Two 16-year-olds from Dagenham were each sent to a young offenders institution for four years. James Sorhaindo, 34, enlisted the b

A FAGIN-style crime boss who organised a security van raid while standing trial for robbery has been jailed for nine years.

Two 16-year-olds from Dagenham were each sent to a young offenders' institution for four years.

James Sorhaindo, 34, enlisted the boys - who cannot be named for legal reasons - to snatch �8,200 from a security guard as he collected the cash from an Esso filling station in Leyton.

The teenagers were arrested fleeing Sorhaindo's flat in Forest Gate with bundles of cash down their pants as the ringleader desperately hurled notes from his balcony.


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Getaway drivers James Matovu, 45, and Fhaizo Mulwinda, 18, were jailed for seven and six years respectively.

A 17-year-old will serve five years and a 15-year-old Dagenham boy will serve two years and three months.

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Judge Inigo Bing was heckled and taunted by gang members' furious relatives while security guards were forced to separate warring families in the public gallery amid ugly scenes at Snaresbrook Crown Court.

Sorhaindo had orchestrated the security van job while standing trial at Inner London Crown Court for a separate robbery.

Prosecutor David Markham QC said one of the boys had texted the word "done" to Sorhaindo after the raid in August.

"The message would suggest that Mr Sorhaindo was the person to whom the young defendants were largely answerable," said the barrister.

"The term Fagin would not be misapplied to Mr Sorhaindo in this case."

Sorhaindo denied any knowledge of the robbery and claimed one of the teenagers had brought the cash to his flat.

But a jury took more than 11 hours to convict Sorhaindo, the two 16-year-olds, the 17-year-old, Matovu and Mulwinda of conspiracy to rob following a six-week trial.

The 15-year-old admitted conspiracy to rob.

One of the 16-year-olds admitted possessing an offensive weapon, a knife.

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