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Violent armed robbers given life in prison

Knife found in the possession of Nicholas Wordsworth and Mustafa Murteza
Knife found in the possession of Nicholas Wordsworth and Mustafa Murteza

Two men who committed a series of violent armed robberies using sawn-off shotguns have been jailed for life.

Nicholas Wordsworth, 43, of Enfield, and Mustafa Murteza, 48, of Tollington Road, north London, were sentenced to life imprisonment at Kingston Crown Court on Friday, the Metropolitan Police said.

Officers linked together seven armed cash-in-transit robberies that had been committed across London, Essex, Kent, Sussex, Hertfordshire and Oxfordshire during 2016.

In each incident, the suspects wore dark clothing, face coverings and used sawn-off shotguns to threaten security guards to steal cash boxes they were carrying.

Police said the suspects would make off in a vehicle, which they then set alight.

The pair were arrested on November 18 2016 in Sandy, Bedfordshire, following an investigation by the Met's Flying Squad, supported by officers from other police forces.

With the support of armed officers, police stopped both men in a Honda Accord displaying false vehicle registration plates.

They were found in possession of a loaded sawn-off shotgun, a gas-powered revolver, several rounds of ammunition, a stun-gun, a bullet-proof vest, a large hunting knife, masks and a full petrol can.

Wordsworth was ordered to serve a minimum term of seven years and nine months, while Murteza was ordered to serve a minimum term of seven years and five months, the Met said.

Detective Inspector Mark Bedford, from the Met's Flying Squad, said: "These sentences mean that two extremely violent and dangerous criminals are now behind bars for a considerable time.

"These were well-planned, violent armed robberies during which both Wordsworth and Murteza terrorised security guards, as well as members of the public going about their daily business, and left them fearing for their lives.

"In my view, it was only through luck and good fortune that nobody was seriously injured or worse.

"This has been a lengthy and complex investigation spanning the south-east of England. It was only through the meticulous work of officers from the Flying Squad supported by colleagues from the Met's Specialist Firearms Command, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Essex, Kent, TVP and Sussex police forces which ensured these individuals are no longer free to continue committing these violent offences."