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Thursday, 21 February, 2002, 19:18 GMT
Brothers guilty of armed robberies
Sean Bradish is arrested in Alperton, London
A Flying Squad operation tracked the pair
Two of Britain's most prolific armed robbers face long sentences after being found guilty of a series of raids.

Brothers Sean and Vincent Bradish - described in court as EastEnders look-alikes - were caught after an accomplice gave evidence against them.

Sean Bradish
The brothers enjoyed a champagne lifestyle
The pair terrorised bank, building society and travel agency staff and robbed security vans at gunpoint across London and the South East, the Old Bailey heard.

They committed about 50 robberies over five years stealing more than 250,000 to help finance their luxury lifestyle, the court was told.

The brothers denied conspiracy to rob and conspiracy to handle firearms but were found guilty on Thursday.

But the Flying Squad think the pair could have been involved in up to 100 robberies.

Terrorised public

Sean Bradish, who is already serving life for another robbery, was warned by Judge Giles Forrester that it was "almost inevitable" that he would face another life sentence after Thursday's guilty verdict.

Over the last five years they terrorised members of the public, staff and customers of the financial institutions

Detective Chief Inspector Bob Cummings
After the case, Detective Chief Inspector Bob Cummings told the BBC: "These are the most dangerous and prolific gang of robbers that London has seen in the recent past.

He continued: "Over the last five years they terrorised members of the public, staff and customers of the financial institutions".

They always carried loaded firearms and on one occasion they fired at a defenceless security guard, he said.

And when Sean Bradish was arrested he was carrying a sawn-off shotgun and spare cartridges in his pocket.

"I think that demonstrates how determined and ruthless he was," the officer added.

The pair's accomplice, Stephen Roberts, who had admitted his part in 12 of the robberies will be sentenced along with the brothers on 7 March.

Hostage threat

The court had heard how the brothers waited for people to be inside the premises so that they could threaten to take hostages in the robberies which took place between 1995 and 2000.

Detective Chief Inspector Bob Cummings
DCI Cummings said the pair always carried loaded firearms
A Flying Squad operation codenamed Odie was launched to track them.

But the brothers, who are both now in their mid thirties, were aware of police surveillance techniques.

They first targeted Thomas Cook branches but moved on to banks, building societies and security vehicles in raids around Harlesden, in north west London and Sutton, in Surrey.

The prosecution also had video and DNA evidence against Vincent Bradish after he and Roberts went to a hotel to drink champagne after a raid in Coulsdon, Surrey.

The brothers launched their own "firm" in the mid-nineties but police believe the pair were previously members of Jimmy Doyle's gang.

Doyle was jailed for 24 years at the Old Bailey in 1995 for a raid on a Lloyds bank in Harrow.

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