Three thugs who tried to raid home of City banker by posing as POLICE jailed ...

Nicholas Hamill, 35, was jailed for 14 years for his part in the frightening robbery

Nicholas Hamill, 35, was jailed for 14 years for his part in the frightening robbery

Three members of a gang who posed as police officers to carry out a terrifying raid at the family home of a City financier have been jailed for a total of 31-and-a-half years. 

Judge Julian Smith told Nicholas Hamill, 35, Joseph Mezen, 28, and Ronnie Mead, 30, that they were involved in a 'determined and detailed' robbery plot motivated by substantial rewards. 

He added the fact it was frustrated only by the quick-thinking of the homeowner did not diminish their intent, and that the prospect of what might have otherwise happened was 'chilling'.

The gang struck on the evening of May 1, 2017, when two of the raiders arrived at the 'expensive and substantial' property in Sevenoaks, Kent, in a private rapid response ambulance they had adapted to look like a patrol vehicle.

The passenger, wearing a police-issue high-visibility jacket, activated an intercom on the electronic gates to tell the occupants they were investigating a disturbance.

But no sooner had they been allowed into the grounds, they were joined by masked accomplices armed with what appeared to be a sawn-off shotgun and wearing balaclavas and gloves. 

A jury at Maidstone Crown Court, Kent, heard they had been hiding at the side of the property and awaiting the arrival of their fellow raiders in the fake patrol car. 

Homeowner Thomas Hogh, a successful global bonds fund manager for Capital Group, had been enjoying a peaceful bank holiday Monday with his wife Inge, and their three children, when the men, as many as six, struck at about 9.40pm. 

The self-build property in a private road was described in court as their 'dream home' and the family had only recently moved in. 

Mr Hogh was confronted by the intruders after he went to the front door of the detached house to greet the 'officers', and the ordeal that followed was overheard by Mr Hogh's brother listening in on a Skype call. 

But any bid to rob the family of cash and 'high value rewards' was thwarted in just 42 seconds when a terrified Mrs Hogh activated a panic button before hiding in a bedroom wardrobe and phoning police. 

Alarmed by the noise, the masked men were said to have made their 'chaotic' escape through a hole they had made in the side fence, while the two posing as policemen reversed away. 

The disguised ambulance, a Skoda Octavia often used by private ambulance firms, had a sign with the word 'Police' attached to the bonnet and bore false number plates.

It was found two days later burnt out on farmland in Nottinghamshire. 

Medical supplies businessman Hamill and Mezen were convicted by a jury of conspiracy to rob and possessing an imitation firearm with intent. 

The robbers arrived in a private ambulance they had had liveried to look like a police vehicle and one got out from the passenger's door wearing a high-vis police jacket

The robbers arrived in a private ambulance they had had liveried to look like a police vehicle and one got out from the passenger's door wearing a high-vis police jacket

Hamill, a foster carer and trained paramedic who ran a company called Southern England Ambulance Service, was said to be 'in the thick of' the robbery plot. 

Mezen, from Herne Bay, Kent, is 6ft 5in, weighs 23st and was described as the 'hired muscle' and 'battering ram'. 

He was the first raider through the door, knocking over Mr Hogh, who is in his 50s. 

Mezen later lied to police that the raid was 'a put-up job' carried out with the homeowners' knowledge. 

Mead, of Seasalter, Kent, originally denied assisting an offender by setting fire to the ambulance but changed his plea to guilty during the trial. 

The court heard Mead was not one of the robbers that night but was 'tasked and trusted' to return to Sevenoaks and retrieve the 'Police' sign which had fallen off the bonnet as they fled. 

A fourth man, 45-year-old John Moys, of Hoath, near Canterbury, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rob and possessing an imitation firearm with intent before the trial started. 

Prosecutor Christopher May said Moys was the one wielding the shotgun that night and held the same 'organisational' role as Hamill. 

As the 'police' arrived at the front door a gang of masked men crept up the side passage

As the 'police' arrived at the front door a gang of masked men crept up the side passage

One of the intruders was carrying what was intended to look like a sawn-off shotgun

One of the intruders was carrying what was intended to look like a sawn-off shotgun

The two men, who were also business partners, were responsible for purchasing the rapid response vehicle, and carrying out 'reccies' of the Hogh home in the preceding weeks. 

Hamill of Herne Bay, Kent, was jailed for 14-and-a-half years, Mezen was jailed for 14 years, and Mead was jailed for three years. 

However, due to the judge considering Mezen to be a danger to the public he must serve under what is known as an extended sentence at least two-thirds of his jail term before being considered for release. 

He will then have a further three years added to any licence period. 

Moys, who is now suffering from cancer, will be sentenced on August 16 once the court has up-to-date medical reports. 

Joseph Mezen was sentenced to 14 years

Ronnie Mead was sentenced to three years

Joseph Mezen, left, was sentenced to 14 years for his role in the threatening frightening scheme, and Ronnie Mead, right, to three years

The prosecutor said those involved in the robbery plot went 'to considerable effort', and that Mezen's account of it being an inside job was 'convoluted, utterly implausible, and far-fetched in the extreme'. 

'The Hoghs were targeted by a robbery gang who thought that they would be able to steal cash and or other property from them to a high value,' Mr May told the court. 

'Thinking that there would be potentially high rewards, a great deal of

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