Kensington & ChelseaNews

Violent Chelsea watch robbers jailed for total of 15 years – after car sticker gave the game away

Two men who violently robbed a £100,000 watch from a group of US visitors have been jailed.

Yesterday at Isleworth Crown Court, Thomas Lenaghan, 24, of Rylston Road, Fulham and Ronnie Fitzgerald, 20, of Valence Avenue, Romford were both sentenced to six years and nine months’ imprisonment.

They both pleaded guilty at a hearing on October 5 to charges of conspiracy to rob, threatening a person with a bladed article in a public place, possession of a stun gun and threatening a person with a stun gun.

John Stovell, 51, of North End Road, West Kensington, was jailed for 18 months, having pleaded guilty to handling stolen goods and assisting an offender.

DC Robert Rodak, who worked on the investigation, said: “This was a shocking and violent robbery which understandably left the victims shaken and feeling incredibly fortunate they did not suffer more serious injury.

The convicted trio, from left, John Stovell, Thomas Lenaghan and Ronnie Fitzgerald (Pictures: The Met)

“Everyone should be able to walk through our streets unaffected by this type of crime and that is why we are doing everything we can to take offenders like Lenaghan, Fitzgerald and Stovell off our streets.

“This conviction was a result of a joint effort where our local team was assisted by the specialist skills of the Flying Squad to catch those responsible.”

Shortly after midnight on November 16, 2021, three people were crossing Pavilion Road in Chelsea when they were approached by a group dressed in black and wearing balaclavas.

The car used in the robbery – which was ultimately traced to bring down the trio (Picture: The Met)

One of the victims, aged 31, was pushed to the floor and hit from behind by a stun gun. The suspects surrounded him and demanded he hand over his Rolex watch, worth about £100,000.

His father was threatened with a knife, which cut through his coat but did not cause injury, as he tried to stop the attack.

Their friend was also threatened with a stun gun and forced to hand over her watch, worth about £200.

The suspects then got into a stolen Jaguar F-PACE displaying false plates, which sped off.

Detectives from the Met’s Flying Squad analysed the footage and managed to see that the car had a small sticker on the bottom right corner of its windshield.

They then contacted a victim whose car had been stolen – she told officers that their car had a parking permit for their child’s school – a description which matched the sticker seen on the car used in the robbery.

The cops were able to work out where the car had been and found and CCTV revealed footage capturing the robbers meeting without masks.

The photographs of their faces were circulated and led to the identification of Lenaghan, Stovell and Fitzgerald.

The car was found in a car park in North End Road and a forensic examination linked the men to the vehicle.

Pictured top: CCTV captures the moments when the gang (left) surrounded their victims in Pavillion Road, Chelsea (Picture: The Met)

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