Men convicted over violent burglary in Loughton

Four men have been found guilty of a violent burglary in Loughton.

A group of men armed with knives and pepper spray forced their way into an address in Queens Road shortly before 6.25am on July 21 last year.

They had tried to get in through an open window and whn an occupant tried to stop them, he was sprayed with the pepper spray. Hearing the commotion, another person inside the address went outside to try and get the group to leave but was chased and assaulted.

Witnesses saw the men leaving the area, running towards a dark grey Audi parked nearby and making off in it. CCTV footage showed the group arriving and leaving in that car.

Shortly before 9am the vehicle was stopped between junctions 15 and 16 on the M6 motorway. During a search of the vehicle a kitchen knife was found in the boot, and a lock knife underneath a rear passenger seat.

Four people inside the vehicle – Mohammed Fathi, 22, Bailey Ruscoe, 21, Peter Clegg, 20, and Kai Hurst, also 20 – were arrested. The clothing Hurst, Ruscoe, and Fathi were wearing when they were arrested was consistent with that of the suspects seen on CCTV. Fingerprints of Hurst, Ruscoe, and Fathi were also found at the scene.

Fathi, of Meltham Avenue, Manchester was charged with aggravated burglary, affray, aggravated burglary with intent and possessing a knife or bladed article in a public place.

Ruscoe, of Elliston Square, Manchester was charged with aggravated burglary, affray, aggravated burglary with intent and possessing a knife or bladed article in a public place.

Clegg, of Wrenbury Crescent, Stockport, was charged with aggravated burglary, affray, aggravated burglary with intent, possessing a knife or bladed article in a public place and driving without insurance.

Hurst, of Pickmere Road, Wilmslow, was charged with aggravated burglary, affray, aggravated burglary with intent and possessing a knife or bladed article in a public place.

They all denied the charge but on Thursday March 28, following a three week trial at Chelmsford Crown Court, they were all found guilty of conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary.

They are due to be sentenced at a later date.

Investigating officer Detective Constable Alexander Cove, from Loughton CID, said: “This was a frightening incident where the victims could have been seriously injured. These four men had travelled to Loughton while armed, with the intent of getting into an address and using violence to do so.”

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