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Former public schoolboy jailed after gun spree

PUBLISHED: 15:19 23 January 2008 | UPDATED: 11:29 01 July 2010

AN ARMED robber who went on a terrifying gun spree in five banks was caged for seven years on Monday. Former public school boy, Ian Upson, 20, of

AN ARMED robber who went on a terrifying gun spree in five banks was caged for seven years on Monday.

Former public school boy, Ian Upson, 20, of Madeira Ave, Bromley threatened customers and netted thousands of pounds in the raids in south London last year.

Upson recruited convicted robber Herbert Kulsomu, 27, of Deronda Road, Tulse Hill for one of the robberies at HSBC bank in West Wickham High Street on July 18.

Both men were arrested later the same day at Upson's home where detectives found a ball-bearing gun in a rucksack, two crash helmets and cash from the raid.

Upson pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit robberies on four other banks between April 27 and July 18, 2007 at Barclays in Dulwich Village, Lloyds TSB in Herne Hill, Barclays in Penge and Natwest in Sydenham.

Prosecutor Adrian Fleming told the court: "On five occasions, Upson was involved in the robberies, wearing a scarf or balaclava masking his face and some kind of hood pulled over his head, brandishing a gun.

"The other had a motorbike helmet on. Cashiers would be approached, money demanded and an escape made. But despite what must have been terrifying experiences for staff and customers, no one was physically hurt."

During the Sydenham Natwest raid on May 24, druggie Upson screamed at customers, "Move out the way" then turned to cashiers and waving his gun, snarled: "Give me your money or I will shoot someone. Do not make me shoot them. You're taking too long. We will take the customers."

Upson smirked when he left the dock at Inner London Crown Court.

Kulsomu, who has previous convictions for 26 different offences, seven of them robberies or attempted robberies, was given an indeterminate sentence after pleading guilty to armed robbery and possessing an imitation firearm.

He was released on probation just five months before going on to commit the robbery at West Wickham.

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