Violent trio who posed as police and viciously stamped and beat mother in home robbery jailed for 35 years

19 November 2022, 17:27

(L-R) Ludlow, Croherty and Cook were jailed for a total of 35 years
(L-R) Ludlow, Croherty and Cook were jailed for a total of 35 years. Picture: Metropolitan Police

By Asher McShane

Three violent thugs who posed as police officers to force their way into a woman’s home before subjecting her to a brutal robbery ordeal have been jailed for a total of 35 years.

Michael Cloherty, 58, Simon Ludlow, 50, and Michael Cook, 54, were jailed for 13, 12, and 10 years in prison for the attack on a mother as she left her home in Putney.

On the morning of Monday November 29 last year, they approached the woman while she was leaving the flat with her three young children.

Posing as police and carrying batons, one of the men shoed a fake warrant card and said they were there to carry out a drugs search.

The family's puppy was stolen and was never recovered
The family's puppy was stolen and was never recovered. Picture: Metropolitan Police

She challenged them, and they forced her into the property, stamped on and punched her while she was on the ground, and tied her up with cable ties before stealing cash, Christmas presents and the family’s dog, an American bulldog puppy called “blue Merle”.

Police trawled hours of CCTV and identified three suspects leaving Ludlow’s home an hour before the burglary. They then learned the men had travelled to Putney on a previous occasion - possibly an aborted first attempt at carrying out the burglary, or to monitor the property.

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The men were arrested and later charged after police carried out searches of their homes.

Detective Inspector Andy Durham from Specialist Crime South, said: “These three individuals have pretended to be police officers to gain entry, before using extreme violence to rob a mother in her family home. They have caused her injuries before stealing her children’s presents and their very young beloved puppy.

“Tackling violent offenders is a priority for the Met and I am very proud with the brave support of the victim we were able to bring these violent offenders to justice and achieve sentences commensurate to their offending.”

Detective Inspector Dan Whitten from South West Command Unit, added: “This offence involved extensive planning, violence and a disregard for the impact on the vulnerable children present. The offenders clearly posed a wider risk to the public.

“I am pleased they are no longer in a position to cause such considerable harm and hope their convictions serve to reassure the local community. I’d like to commend the victim for displaying fortitude despite what must have been a terrifying ordeal and the investigating officers for their tenacity in effectively pursuing this investigation to its rightful conclusion.”

Sadly the dog was not recovered and police are still trying to trace it.

Anyone who recognises the dog in the image or anyone who may have been offered an American Bulldog puppy for sale, should contact police. Anyone with information should call 101 quoting 1837/29NOV21.

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