Prison Sentence for Man Who Robbed 'The Pilot'

Hunt still on for gang members who raided west London pubs


Poppy Box Stolen in Chiswick

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A man who carried out a series of armed robberies on London pubs, including 'The Pilot' in Chiswick, has been given a lengthy jail sentence.

Michael Francis-Dwyer, 24 , of no fixed abode was sentenced to 11 years when he appeared at Inner London Crown Court on Friday (November 18th). He had previously pleaded guilty to robbery and firearms offences.

Michael Francis-Dwyer

Detective Inspector Angela Phillips from the Flying Squad based at Barnes said: "The sentence today shows that the Flying Squad is committed to pursuing the perpetrators of this type of crime and putting them through the court system.

"Francis-Dwyer gave no regard for the employees of the premises he robbed when he and his accomplices threatened them with a gun and forced them to give up their personal property and cash from the business. I am pleased he is now paying the price for his actions."

Michael Francis-Dwyer was part of a group of men who robbed five pubs and a convenience store over a six-week period. The incident at the Pilot, a well-known gastropub in Wellesley Road, Chiswick, took place on Monday, 23rd May in the early hours of the morning.

Other pubs raided included the Dove Pub, Upper Mall, Hammersmith, the Anglesea Arms Pub, South Kensington, The Sporting Page Pub, Chelsea, Krystals Food and Wine, Wandsworth Bridge Road, and The Merchant Pub, Battersea Rise, Clapham.

Up to four men would enter the premises wearing clown masks or balaclavas, usually after closing time whilst the staff were cashing up the takings and clearing up.

They would threaten staff with a gun and demand that they lay down on the floor before forcing one of them to open the safe and handover cash.
They would then take the personal property of the staff, including bankcards and mobile phones before leaving the scene.

Barnes Flying Squad carried out an investigation into the robberies which were linked due to the similar descriptions of suspects and the method that was used to carry out each offence.

During a detailed search of the crime scene of the final robbery at The Merchant Pub in Wandsworth, police found a piece of a purple latent glove which was worn by one of the suspects. Forensic analysis of the glove produced a weak DNA profile.

Francis-Dwyer was arrested on Friday 24 June following a routine stop and search on a vehicle in Brixton. He was found to be in possession of a firearm similar to the one used in the robbery offences. The DNA profile was identified as belonging to him and he was charged with conspiracy to commit armed robbery on Thursday 7 July.

Enquiries continue by the Flying Squad to identify the other men involved in these offences.

Anyone with information regarding these robberies is asked to call police on 020 8247 3940 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

November 23, 2011

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