Moped thieves tried to steal judge’s motorbike from Snaresbrook Crown Court car park

·3-min read
Moped thieves Shay Hollis and Deon-Dre Rogers-Bassett tried to steal a judge’s motorbike (MPS)
Moped thieves Shay Hollis and Deon-Dre Rogers-Bassett tried to steal a judge’s motorbike (MPS)

A gang of moped robbers armed with a machete made a botched attempt to steal a judge’s motorbike in an audacious raid on the car park of one of London’s crown courts.

Shay Hollis, 18, and Deon-Dre Rogers-Barrett, 19, rode with a third unidentified man into the grounds of Snaresbrookcrown court in broad-daylight to try to steal Judge Paul Southern’s £20,000 BMW motorbike.

They circled the historic court building until reaching the staff car park, where Hollis wrestled the steering lock off the bike.

However the robbery plan started to go awry when Hollis struggled with the weight of the motorbike and dropped it, costing the thieves valuable seconds to make their escape.

Quick-thinking security guards ran to the front gate to close off the exit route, leaving the robbers trapped inside the sprawling grounds of the east London court.

Hollis is seen brandishing a foot-long machete at the guards, while CCTV shows the thieves abandoning the stolen BMW bike, riding around in a failed attempt to escape, and eventually ditching their mopeds, helmets and gloves to climb over a court perimeter wall.

Snaresbrook Crown Court (John Stillwell/PA) (PA Archive)
Snaresbrook Crown Court (John Stillwell/PA) (PA Archive)

At Wood Green crown court on Monday, Judge Andrew Holmes agreed to defer the sentencing hearing for six months after seeing glowing reports on both defendants.

“You have a golden opportunity now to turn your lives around,” he said.

Both had committed further crimes after the crown court raid but are now said to be making “exceptional” progress.

Prosecutor Dickon Reid said the three thieves arrive “in convoy” at around 2.15pm on April 16 last year, with Rogers-Barrett on his own moped and Hollis riding pillion on a stolen bike.

“Both mopeds drive to the rear of the car park, Mr Hollis got off the stolen moped, and approached the BMW motorbike that belongs to the judge,” he said.

“The footage shows Mr Hollis wrestling the steering lock, with sufficient force used to cause that to give. Thereafter, Mr Hollis began to push the motorcycle away.

“It is a heavy motorcycle, Mr Hollis struggled with it, and dropped it.”

The court heard a guard, Cecil Sweeney, spotted the robbery in progress and ran outside to try to thwart it.

“At this point, Mr Hollis drew something out of the right hand side of his waistband,” said Mr Reid.

“Mr Hollis threatened security guards with what later transpired to be a machete.”

Shay Hollis (MPS)
Shay Hollis (MPS)

Mr Sweeney went to arm himself with a metal pole as his colleagues dashed to shut the front gates and blocked off the escape route.

“Mr Hollis dropped the BMW motorbike, causing irreparable damage to the frame,” said the prosecutor.

“As the three robbers tried to get out of the complex, another security guard, Kamran Ishaq, described Mr Hollis pulling a one-foot machete from his waistband.”

When a sweep of the grounds was later conducted, the abandon mopeds, helmets, gloves, and an angle grinder – all covered in DNA evidence – were discovered.

Deon-Dre Rogers-Bassett (MPS)
Deon-Dre Rogers-Bassett (MPS)

Around an hour and a half later, Rogers-Barrett called 999 to report his moped, helmet, and mobile phone as stolen.

But he gave himself away by using the phone he claimed was taken to make the emergency call.

Hollis and Rogers-Barrett, both from Enfield, pleaded guilty to robbery.

Hollis also admitted criminal damage, possession of an offensive weapon, and affray.

They are set to be sentenced on December 2, and are likely to be spared a prison sentence if they stay out of trouble.

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