Three burglars who broke into a home in Gravesend and tied up and threatened their victims with knives have been sentenced to a total of 28 years in prison. Baffour Amponsah, Alfie Taylor and David Powell, forced their way into an address in Rochester Road and assaulted two people before stealing jewellery and cash. Amponsah and Taylor were arrested when they were discovered hiding in the bedroom of an associate’s address the same night. They both pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary. Powell was arrested three days later and denied the same charge but was found guilty by a jury following a trial at Woolwich Crown Court.
The court heard that at around 1am on 11 July 2019, the victims were asleep upstairs in their property when they were woken by three men entering the bedroom demanding money. All of the men had their faces covered and were holding knives. The victims were tied up, punched in the head and ordered to lie face down on the bed by one of the men while the other two searched the property taking items of jewellery and cash. One of the victims managed to overpower the man who was holding them, push him out of the bedroom and lock the door. He then called the police and the suspects fled.
Officers attended the scene along with a police dog who tracked the suspects to a property in Thong Lane. Elizabeth Woods was inside the address, she opened the door but tried stop officers from entering and attempted to set her dog on them. Inside, a cannabis cultivation of around 40 plants was discovered in a downstairs room. Officers searched the property and found Amponsah in a bed and Taylor hiding in a wardrobe upstairs. Jewellery and cash were discovered at the address which belonged to the victims. Various designer handbags, designer shoes and approximately £5,000 were also seized.
Woods, 27, was arrested alongside Amponsah and Taylor and she was charged with perverting the course of justice, permitting the production of cannabis and possession of criminal property. Powell was arrested on 14 July when officers spotted him walking along Cruden Road and he was found to have a black face mask and gloves in his pocket.
All four were sentenced at Woolwich Crown Court on Wednesday 26 February 2020.
• Amponsah 32, of Lee High Road, Lewisham pleaded guilty to burglary and was sentenced to nine years’ imprisonment
• Alfie Taylor, 25, of Mason Close, Rotherhithe pleaded guilty to burglary was sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment
• Powell, 31, of Thong Lane, Gravesend was found guilty of burglary by a jury and was sentenced to 11 years’ imprisonment
• Woods was sentenced to 15 months’ imprisonment
Officer in charge of the case, Detective Constable Rebecca Ward said: ‘This was a violent burglary and an extremely terrifying ordeal for the victims. Not only were they threatened with knives and tied up, they were assaulted without being able to defend themselves. However, the bravery of one of those victims resulted in him being able to call us while the offenders were still in his home. This meant we were quickly at the scene and able to track Amponsah and Taylor to the address at Thong Lane. Despite Woods’ efforts to obstruct the officers, they managed to enter that address and gather the evidence to convict them. Powell denied his part in the crime but a thorough investigation led to his conviction and I am pleased they are all now rightfully behind bars.’