Harringay security guard jailed for 11 years over Enfield bingo hall heist

17:19 23 February 2012

PC Karl Bartlett has been convicted of assault

PC Karl Bartlett has been convicted of assault

PA Wire/Press Association Images

The Harringay security guard of a bingo hall who helped a gang of armed robbers to steal its £44,000 takings has been jailed for 11 years.

Muhammed Mukungu, 33, of Wightman Road, let two masked raiders hide in the building before finishing his shift, the Old Bailey heard.

Armed with a gun and a crowbar, the robbers lay in wait for treasurer Carol Bryce to arrive at 7am, then held a gun to her head and ordered her to open fruit machines and a safe. They tied her up before making their escape.

Tom Wilkins, prosecuting, told the court the entire weekend takings of the Gala Bingo hall, in Enfield, were still on the premises when the raiders struck on May 31, 2010.

He said: “They wore scarves and gloves so there was no forensic evidence and their faces were covered.

“One had something that to her looked like a gun and the other had a crowbar. Her mobile phone was taken. They then tied her with cable ties to furniture in the staff room.

“That is where she was found when a security guard arrived at 8am.”

Detectives began investigating Mukungu after noticing “suspicious” call records between his phone and an unregistered pay-as-you-go number which remained in the area of the hall throughout the night.

Despite being arrested over the bingo heist, Ugandan national Mukungu later used a false passport to get another security job.

He denied conspiracy to commit robbery but was convicted alongside getaway driver Damien Latchman, 27, of Snowshill Road, Manor Park, east London, following an eight-day trial.

Mukungu admitted fraud and possession of a false identity document with intent. The two robbers, whose identities are unknown, are still at large.

Jailing Latchman for nine years, Judge Brian Barker QC said both men had been drawn to take part in the plot by the lure of “very easy money”.

Turning to Mukungu, he said: “Without your inside information and help, this crime would not have been possible. This was, and is, a gross breach of trust.

“This was a deliberate and calculating crime, and must be punished severely.”

He added that the robbers had put Ms Bryce through a “terrifying” ordeal.

“The consequences have been overwhelming and her life has been turned upside down,” he said.

“I can only hope that the psychological aspect will diminish, although it will take a long time to do so.”

Latest Stories

7 minutes ago
The man fell from the top floor penthouse above Barclays Bank in West Hampstead (Picture via Google StreetView)

A man who reportedly fell to his death from a penthouse in Hampstead while naked has been indentified as a Harley Street doctor who ran a Botox clinic.

Read more
28 minutes ago
Planned engineering works could affect your journey this weekend.

There is a relatively minor programme of planned closures on the Tube and Overground network this weekend - but they could still affect your journey. Read on for the lowdown.

Read more
This version of the classic London Underground map shows the West Bank, the territory that Israel and Palestine have been fighting over for decades [Photo from Imgur, creator unknown]

This is the Underground map as you’ve never seen it before.

Read more

Quirky London

Quizzes

But which London?! [Photo courtesy of Basher Eyre]

You might know London like the back of your hand, but how well do you know the other Londons - and London landmarks - across the world?

Read more
The prize is glory (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

It used to be Manhattan that was famous for its majestic skyline, but now our fair city is catching up. Do you know your Shard from your Heron Tower?

Read more
Test your London musical knowledge with our album quiz (Images via Getty)

Does your music knowledge stretch from The Rolling Stones to Rudimental, Spandau Ballet to Siouxsie and the Banshees? If so then test it out with our London bands quiz:

Read more