Luton crook jailed 10 years over jeweller's shop raid with woman put in headlock

A career criminal from Luton has been jailed for his part in a violent raid at a London jeweller's shop in which a woman was put into a headlock.

Wednesday, 15th January 2020, 1:47 pm
Updated Wednesday, 15th January 2020, 2:22 pm

Andrew Elliott, 32, of Downs Road, took part in the raid on April 15 last year while disguised in a fishermen's hat and sunglasses which later fell off. He later tried to tattoo over his face after being caught on CCTV.

Elliott appeared at the Old Bailey on Friday, January 10, where he was jailed for seven years and four months, plus three years on license.

The court heard Elliott has a long criminal history, and was on licence at the time of his latest offence after robbing six people at a New Year's Party in 2014 while armed with a 12-inch knife. He was jailed in August 2014 for six years and released early in 2018.

Elliott in disguise (left), in custody (right)

On April 15, 2019, Elliott's accomplice walked into the jeweller's shop in Haringey and asked for a ring to be valued by the sole female employee. Moments later, he launched an attack on the woman.

She tried to escape by running along the back of the counter, however the man overpowered her, forced her into a headlock and dragged her to the ground.

At that point, Elliott and another man entered and began ransacking the shop, stealing trays of jewellery from the display cabinets.

The female employee eventually broke free and fled to the back of the store.

The men were unaware the trigger switch for the door had to be activated for them to leave. In desperation, they tried unsuccessfully to use brute force to break open the front door.

The first man eventually managed to open the door and fled after it automatically closed behind him.

Elliott’s disguise of an oversized fisherman’s hat and sunglasses slipped from his face as he desperately tried to escape. He was eventually able to exit through the door.

The final man could not open the sealed door from the inside. He ran around the shop several times in a frenzied bid to escape and discarded a tray of jewellery on the floor.

A member of the public who was walking past the shop, not realising there was a robbery in progress, opened the door from the outside. This allowed the man to make off.

Whilst on the run, Elliott had two large tattoos emblazoned on his right cheek and neck to attempt to conceal the tattoo seen on the jewellery shop CCTV footage which clearly read, "I still stand strong".

However, the black and white rose tattoo designed to cover this was of such a poor quality, the words could still be seen underneath which was subsequently photographed by officers.

The victim was terrified by the attack and although her injuries were not serious, she was left deeply shocked and disturbed.

During sentencing, Judge Mark Dennis QC said: “You left behind a lady that was badly shaken and left effected by her ordeal. She was manhandled and had to flee to the back of the store where she hid in a lavatory. This was a planned and organised robbery, although the latter part was a fiasco.”

Detective Inspector Paul Ridley, from North Area CID, said: “From the on-set of this investigation, I advised the public that all I needed was a name of the suspect such was the strength of the CCTV.

"This was clearly the case, assisted by Elliott’s botched execution of the robbery and his bizarre attempt at attempting to conceal his identity which included his amateurish disguise to the garish tattoos on his face and neck.

"This dangerous and violent criminal was left with no choice but to admit his guilt.

“While I am pleased to see one of the robbers paying the price for his part in this robbery, I remain focused on identifying and apprehending the two remaining suspects.

“Someone knows who they are and I urge anyone who can name these dangerous individuals to contact us without delay.

“The independent charity Crimestoppers has also offered a £5,000 reward for anyone who provides information that leads to the conviction of the suspects.

“To assist the public I am issuing enhanced aspects of the CCTV footage for greater clarity.

“This was a violent and cowardly attack on a lone woman, tell us what you know and help us remove these dangerous individuals from your area.”

Anyone with information that could assist the investigation is urged to contact North Area CID of the Met Police via 101 quoting 3266/15APR or Tweet @MetCC.