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Robbers who targeted cash vans jailed for 35 years

A group who robbed cash van drivers in Birmingham to pay for a lavish lifestyle of designer clothes and parties have been jailed for a combined total of 35 years.

Places where the gang targeted drivers included Alexandra Theatre in Station Street Credit: West Midlands Police

Emmanuel Koryang, 22, Peter White, 25, and 19-year-old Lance Cotterell attacked five security guards in just over a month last summer, including a pub raid where they doused a customer in spirits and threatened to set him alight.

Places where the gang targeted drivers included Alexandra Theatre in Station Street, Broad Street's Cine World and the Edgbaston Tap pub.

The men spent their loot as soon as they got it on designer clothes and travelling the country on big nights out. CCTV footage from a club in Newcastle after the Morrisons robbery shows them throwing thousands of pounds around and splashing out on bottles of expensive vodka. It’s clear from the level of violence used in the final robbery that they were prepared to stop at nothing in order to get what they wanted and when faced with anything more than a lone van driver, their brutality escalated."

– Detective Inspector Ben West

The three men denied conspiracy to rob but were found guilty following a four-week trial at Birmingham Crown Court. Last Friday, Koryang and White were each given twelve year sentences while getaway driver Cotterell was handed an eleven year term.

Two children rescued after getting stranded on island

Two children have been rescued from a lake after they ended up getting stranded on an island in the middle of it.

A 13-year-old boy had gone into the water to rescue a dog Credit: ITV News Central

A 13-year-old boy had gone into the water to rescue a dog. Then, an 18-year-old girl went in after the boy.

They got to an island in the middle of Sutton Park lake from where the fire service took them to dry land.

We warn people not to go into open waters such as this. The water is cold, you don’t know how deep it is. There were weeds and silt in this lake but we don’t know what else is in the water.”

– West Midlands Ambulance Service


Birmingham business owner jailed for selling dangerous phone chargers

A Birmingham business owner who sold unsafe mobile phone chargers as well as counterfeit goods has been sentenced to 16 weeks in prison.

Mohammed Ibrar, 45, trading as Bling Bling Phones in Alum Rock, pleaded guilty to nine offences at an earlier hearing last month – five of selling unsafe phone chargers and four of selling fake mobile phones cases bearing Apple and Porsche logos.

Ibrar, who was jailed for separate offences relating to the handling of stolen goods, was sentenced to 16 weeks for each of the nine offences, which will be served concurrently to his existing sentence.

We will not tolerate the sale of counterfeit goods in our city. As tempting as they may be, fake goods sold at knock-down prices are often poor quality, are unlikely to meet safety standards and damage the trade of legitimate businesses.”

– Councillor Barbara Dring, Chair of Birmingham City Council’s Licensing and Public Protection Committee

Two men arrested in Birmingham by counter terrorism officers

The men were arrested early this morning Credit: Dave Thompson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Two men have been arrested in Birmingham by counter terrorism officers on suspicion of distributing a terrorist publication.

The two men, both aged 18, were arrested at their home addresses in the Alum Rock and Washwood Heath areas at around 7am this morning.

The arrests by officers from the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit were pre-planned and intelligence led.

They relate to the supply of a suspected ideological text rather than an operational manual, such as bomb making instructions, and there was no immediate threat to public safety.

The two men are currently being questioned at a police station within the West Midlands.


Police appeal for witnesses after incident involving 5-year-old girl

Police are appealing for witnesses after a young girl was approached in a park in Sandwell. Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Archive/PA Images

Police in Sandwell are appealing for witnesses to contact them after a suspicious incident where a five-year-old girl was approached by a unknown woman on 3 August.

The incident took place between 2.45-2.50pm in Dartmouth Park, Sandwell Valley. The child was with her mother at the time.

The woman is described as mixed race, aged in her mid-30s, she had black hair in a bun and wore a red T-shirt.

We are anxious to hear from anyone who may have seen what happened in the park yesterday, we believe there were a number of people about at the time.

"The child is safe and officers are continuing with their enquiries and checking local CCTV in a bid to identify the woman.

"Whilst we are keeping an open mind regarding the incident, it is important to stress this is an isolated incident”

– Detective Inspector Ronan Tyrer from Force CID

Anyone with information should call police at Sandwell on 101.

Police seek witnesses of Birmingham attack

Police have released CCTV images of three men they want to speak to regarding an attack in the city centre of Birmingham.

Police want to speak to these men in relation to a street robbery Credit: West Midlands Police

Three individuals grabbed the man and dragged him to a nearby canal towpath, before allegedly assaulting him in an attempt to get his pin number. They then stole his bank cards.

The attack took place in the early hours of 9 July in Gas Street.

The attackers are described as three black men in their mid-twenties.

The man suffered swelling and cuts to his face and body following the assault.

Officers investigating the attack have viewed CCTV and are now releasing these images in the hope someone will recognise the offenders and call us. This was a sustained and un-necessarily violent assault and I am appealing for anyone who has information or anyone who knows who the men are to come forward."

– DC Mark Timmins from Birmingham Central

Anyone with information should call police on 101 or call the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Crocketts Lane closed due to Sandwell College fire

Crocketts Lane has been closed in both directions due to a building fire at the old Sandwell College building at Regent Street in Smethwick,

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