A prolific robber from Hayes is among three men jailed for crimes including stealing sentimental jewellery belonging to an 11-year-old boy tragically killed in a road accident in 2008.
Jonathan Whitton, 38, of Drenon Square, Hayes was jailed for 17 years for five counts of robbery and three counts of possession of a firearm and ammunition at Kingston Crown Court on Friday, October 31.
He admitted to the offences between June 3 and August 26 this year.
He was sentenced alongside Hugh Atkins, 32 of Northwood Road, London, jailed for eight-and-a-half years for one count of robbery and Leon Simpson, 40 of Lambert Road, London, jailed for 10 years for one count of attempted robbery and one count of robbery.
Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Service’s Flying Squad alongside colleagues from Thames Valley Police launched an intelligence led operation - codenamed Operation Sekani - following a series of robberies and attempted robberies across London and the Thames Valley.
The robberies included one at a bank in East Avenue, Hayes, where jewellery belonging to 11-year-old Nivakar Arunthavalingam were stolen.
His sentimental jewellery had been stored in a safety deposit box which was being delivered to the bank on November 8, 2013, when a robber snatched it.
Nivakar died of head injuries after being hit by a car as he and his older brother, Mhaventhan, were on their way to Uxbridge High School in The Greenway in March 2008.
As well as jewellery, the box contained keepsakes such as a sympathy card. The items were worth around £30,000.
The Arunthavalingam family had decided to put the items into a safety deposit box following a burglary at the family home in Hillingdon.
After the robbery last year, his mother Amirthaluxmy told GetWestLondon of her fresh heartbreak, five years on from her son’s death.
“I was very saddened to hear that this had happened,” she said.
“His things remind me of him, and I want to treasure them until my death.
“We think about him all the time, and it has been very difficult for us to forget,” she said.
Detective Sergeant Hywel Davies, from the Flying Squad, said: “I am pleased with the sentences that have been handed down, three very dangerous men will now serve lengthy periods behind bars.
“I have no doubt that had they not been apprehended they would have gone on to commit further offences. A number of staff members have been left shocked and traumatised and I hope they are now able to achieve some sense of closure.
“With the exception of one pendant, the jewellery owned by the Arunthavalingam’s has never been recovered and the family are desperate to trace these items.
“If there is anyone who has any information on the whereabouts of the stolen items they are asked to contact the police.”
The other robberies and attempted robberies for which the men were jailed included a robbery in November 2007 at an Abbey National in Oxford where £66,000 was taken by Whitton and one attempted robbery in May 2013 of a cashbox containing £24,000 at a petrol station in Sternhold Avenue, Streatham.
Investigators identified Whitton and Simpson as being involved in the attempted robbery.
In July last year, the robbers returned to the same petrol station in Streatham, this time stealing a cashbox with £29,000 and in December 2013 at a bank in Church Path, Stokenchurch, staff members were made to hand over cash totalling £190,000.
That same month, the Flying Squad conducted a series of early morning raids at sixteen addresses across London and Thames Valley during which the three men were arrested.