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Last Updated: Friday, 2 July, 2004, 16:34 GMT 17:34 UK
Teens jailed over robbery spree
Two teenage robbers who preyed on Jewish people in an affluent area of north London have been jailed.

Jerome Bingham and Michael Sinclair were 17 and 16 when they went on an 11-day spree in Hendon, north London, carrying a machete and imitation guns.

Judge Christopher Moss told them they chose victims in "a neighbourhood where you expected rich pickings".

Jailing them for eight years at the Old Bailey, he lifted a ban on naming juveniles "in the public interest".

They targeted victims who were visibly members of the Jewish faith
Stephen Perion, prosecuting

Bingham, now 18, of Alperton, and Sinclair, 17, of Wealdstone, north London, admitted eight offences, including three robberies and using firearms, when they appeared in court on Friday.

One victim, Rosalind Jason, was threatened with a machete as she walked home with her husband in December 2003.

She told police the robbery had left her too scared to walk around her own neighbourhood.

'Pistol whipped'

Another woman, Malka Zolty, had a gun held to her head as she and her friend Gavriel Cohen were attacked as they sat in their car.

And four housemates in their twenties were tied up after the robbers entered their home and cut the phone wires.

One was "pistol-whipped" and they were told they would be shot if they resisted, the Old Bailey heard.

Bingham and Sinclair were arrested the next day after police spotted a car they had stolen.

Stephen Perion, prosecuting, said: "They targeted victims who were visibly members of the Jewish faith.

"All wore skullcaps and lived in an affluent area. They were targeted because they knew these victims were vulnerable and would not offer resistance."


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