Brothers jailed for Epping jewellers robbery

Two brothers who robbed an Epping jewellers have been jailed for a combined total of 31 years after their DNA was found in latex face masks which were worn during the robbery.

Just before 11.30am on Monday September 27, 2021, two men arrived at the jewellery store in Epping High Street. The pair were wearing life-like, full-face latex masks, giving them the appearance of elderly gentlemen.

They gained access to the store after threatening staff to let them in.

Once inside, they ushered a staff member to the office where they tied them to a chair with cable ties before removing a valuable Rolex watch from their wrist.

The duo, brandishing a knife and a hatchet, searched the staff area before the alarm was raised and the men fled the scene in a vehicle parked outside.

Several weeks later, officers from the Op Falcon team on patrol in Canvey Island stopped a vehicle. The driver was George Murphy-Bristow and in the boot were two full-face masks and clothing of identical appearance as those worn by the suspects in the robbery.

Also found was a black duffel bag containing a hatchet, knife and cable ties.

A forensic examination took place of saliva found inside the two masks, which identified DNA belonging to Murphy-Bristow and his older brother Benjamin Murphy, linking them to the robbery.

The brothers were arrested at separate locations on June 21 last year and refused to answer any questions during their respective interviews.

Both were charged with robbery and possession of a bladed article and remanded in custody.

Benjamin Murphy, 37, and George Murphy-Bristow, 28, both of Dewey Road, London N1, denied their part in the robbery when they first appeared at Southend-on-Sea Magistrates’ Court on June 22 2022.

Following a three-day trial at Basildon Crown Court, it took a jury just over an hour to find the brothers guilty.

Murphy was found guilty of robbery and two counts of possession of a bladed article. He received an 18 year custodial sentence.

Murphy-Bristow was convicted of robbery, two counts of possession of a bladed article, and going equipped for theft. He received a 13 year custodial sentence.

The watch, valued at £15,000 has never been recovered.

MASKED: Carrying out the robbery in latex masks

Mick Ferris

Editor Email: mickferris@yellowad.co.uk