Brothers wore latex face masks to disguise as old men to rob luxury jewellers
Posted February 16, 2023 by: Admin
Two brothers have been sentenced to a combined total of 31 years in jail for a robbery they committed while wearing latex face masks to disguise themselves as elderly men.
The heist, which took place in Essex, involved Benjamin Murphy, 37, and George Murphy-Bristow, 28, who were armed with a knife and a hatchet axe. They tied up a worker with cable ties and stole a £15,000 Rolex watch from his wrist before fleeing the scene in a getaway car parked outside.
Several weeks later, the police stopped a suspicious vehicle during a patrol about 36 miles away. They discovered two full-face masks and clothing identical in appearance to that worn by the suspects in the robbery in the car’s boot. Additionally, they found a black duffel bag containing a hatchet, knife, and cable ties. The driver of the car, George Murphy-Bristow, was arrested at the scene. Forensic tests of saliva from inside the masks identified DNA belonging to Murphy-Bristow and his older brother, Benjamin Murphy.
The pair were arrested separately and refused to answer any questions during their respective interviews. Both brothers were charged with robbery and possession of a bladed article and were remanded in custody. They denied their part in the robbery when they appeared at Southend-on-Sea Magistrates’ Court on June 22, 2021. A jury found them guilty following a three-day trial at Basildon Crown Court, taking just over an hour to reach a verdict.
Murphy was convicted of robbery and two counts of possession of a bladed article, and received an 18-year custodial sentence. Meanwhile, Murphy-Bristow was convicted of robbery, two counts of possession of a bladed article, and going equipped for theft. He received a 13-year sentence. The stolen Rolex watch was never recovered.
Detective Inspector Yoni Adler, of Essex Police, praised the staff of the jewelry store for supporting the investigation, saying, “Benjamin Murphy and his brother George Murphy-Bristow planned this robbery, to use masks to help them avoid detection. But it was the forensic examination amongst other detailed detective work and proactive policing that proved the pair were directly linked to the robbery. I hope that the staff can now move on from this undoubtedly frightening incident.”
The brothers’ crime highlights the sophistication and daring of criminals, who have become increasingly bold in their use of technology and disguises. The case also underscores the crucial role of forensic examination and proactive policing in solving such crimes. The sentence handed down to the brothers serves as a warning to would-be robbers that they will be brought to justice, no matter how cleverly they may try to disguise their identities.