Illegal immigrant gets 18-month prison sentence for £465,000 gang raid
Gawish, 20 (09.09.99), of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to one count of burglary and one count of common assault at a hearing at Southwark Crown Court on Wednesday, 25 March.
A court was told that at around 05.55hrs on Thursday, 28 November 2019, Gawish and a group of four other men entered a Lebanese restaurant on Edgware Road with the intention of robbing the venue.
Once inside, the men threated two members of staff until they revealed where the money was being kept, upon finding them they then used a crowbar to break open an office door and removed two safes, dragging them out onto the street.
As they loaded the larger safe into a silver Honda Civic they were disturbed by a marked police car responding to a call made by one of the staff.
Three of the men immediately fled on foot while the car was quickly driven away with the large safe, containing between £300,000 and £350,000 in cash in the back.
Gawish, who had remained inside the building, was detained by a member of staff as he ran out onto the road. As he attempted to make his escape, he punched the victim in the face and attacked him with a metal kebab skewer.
Despite the brutal attack, the victim was able to keep Gawish at the scene and officers soon arrested him.
The money was never recovered, and four suspects remain at large following the theft.
Detective Sergeant Pete Lower, from the Central West CID’s burglary unit, said: “This was clearly a pre-planned burglary in which Gawish played a pivotal role. He had no hesitation in attacking anyone who stood in his way and it is only by luck that the victim was not more seriously injured.
“A large amount of money was stolen from the restaurant and has still not been recovered, and four suspects remain outstanding.