Armed robbers who raided Dunmow bank warned they could face life sentences

An armed robbery took place at HSBC in Dunmow on June 23

An armed robbery took place at HSBC in Dunmow on June 23 - Credit: Archant

Two serial armed robbers who raided banks in Witham and Great Dunmow received a warning today they could face life sentences.

The scene of the armed robbery outside the Halifax branch in The Newlands shopping centre in Witham.

The scene of the armed robbery outside the Halifax branch in The Newlands shopping centre in Witham. Pic: Nigel Brown. - Credit: Archant

Nicholas Wordsworth, 43, and Mustafa Murteza, 48, were arrested after a major operation by the Met Police Flying Squad.

Today their sentencing was adjourned at Kingston Crown Court until February 10.

But as she put sentencing back for a further procedural hearing Judge Sarah Plaschkes QC made it clear that the two men, who were not at court, will receive long sentences.

As she announced the adjournment she said: “This is a most serious matter – the court has to consider life sentences.”

The pair were targeted by the Flying Squad on suspicion of being involved in armed robberies, not only in Essex, but also in North London, Sussex, Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire and Kent.

Among the places they targeted were the HSBC in Dunmow High Street on June 23 and the Halifax in The Newlands, Witham on October 20, both last year.

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The pair were arrested at Sandy in Bedfordshire.

Wordsworth, of Fiona Court, Enfield, has accepted he was involved in seven robberies.

Both have admitted conspiracy to rob G4S Security between February 19 and November 18 2016, possession of a shotgun with intent to endanger life and possessing a shotgun which had been shortened. They also admit having an unauthorised firearm, a revolver, with intent to commit robbery.

Murteza, of Tollington Road, Holloway, London, has also admitted possessing a firearm while prohibited after receiving a 15-year jail sentence and Wordsworth admits possessing a shotgun when prohibited after receiving a six year six months jail term.

Finally, Wordsworth admits possessing a prohibited weapon without the authority of the Secretary of State – a weapon adapted for the discharge of a noxious liquid, gas or other thing, namely a stun gun.

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