Three men who colluded to ambush and rob a man in Chingford have been jailed.
Guy O’Neill, 22, of Burns Avenue, Chadwell Heath; Lee O’Neill, 22, of Blackmore Road, Buckhurst Hill and Bartosz Bak, 22 of Valley Side, E4 were all found guilty of attempted robbery following a trial at the Old Bailey on December 18, 2020.
Lee O’Neill and Bak were also found guilty of GBH and possession of an offensive weapon.
At the same court on Thursday, February 4, all three defendants received six and a half year custodial sentences.
The court heard how Guy O’Neill had met the victim – a man aged in his 30s – by chance on a night out in Chingford on September 14, 2017. The victim was celebrating having been paid for the completion of a job and had around £5,000 in cash on him.
The pair had a previous passing acquaintance and when the bar they were drinking in closed, O’Neill invited the man back to his then address in Willow Street, E4.
Once inside the address O’Neill began asking questions about where the victim lived and what route he would take to get home. As they continued drinking, and unbeknownst to the victim, O’Neill contacted Lee O’Neill to inform them of the situation and that the victim would be an easy target for a robbery.
Lee O’Neill in turn contacted Bak and they made their way to the vicinity to await further instructions from Guy O’Neill. At around 02:40hrs, the victim left to walk home – Guy O’Neill informed his two accomplices and directed them to a footbridge over a railway at Beresford Road, E4.
As the victim approached he was confronted by Lee O’Neill and Bak, who were armed with a Rambo style knife. A struggle ensued and the victim managed to break away, only to realise he had been stabbed five times. He was rushed to hospital and had to undergo life-saving surgery.
Lee O’Neill and Bak fled the scene, discarding the knife as they ran.
Officers began an investigation and after speaking to the victim, identified his interaction with Guy O’Neill on the night of the attack.
Following phone call analysis, the link to Lee O’Neill and Bak was established with data showing the interaction between them on the night of the attack.
Forensic analysis of the knife recovered near to the scene also provided a link to Lee O’Neill and Bak.
All three were subsequently charged and convicted.
DC David Marnoch of the North East Basic Command Unit said: “This was an opportunist attack on an innocent man who was out celebrating. A chance meeting with Guy O’Neill led to a series of events which almost resulted in murder. His actions, in conceiving and planning the attack, and Lee O’Neill and Bak’s decision to follow the instructions and lay in wait for the victim before stabbing him, were abhorrent.
“This has been a lengthy and challenging investigation, but I hope now these three men have been jailed, the victim can begin to move on from the horrific events of that night.”