Three fake coppers who tied up and assaulted a mum-of-three in a violent burglary that saw them steal a “very young, beloved” bulldog puppy have been jailed for a total of 35 years.
Michael Cloherty, 58, Simon Ludlow, 50, and Michael Cook, 54, approached the victim wearing caps with ‘Police’ on the front and carrying batons as she left her flat.
They produced a fake ID badge and claimed to be at the address in south London to conduct a drug search on November 29 last year.
When the woman challenged the men, she was grabbed around the throat and forced back inside her home.
They stamped and punched her on the floor, before tying her hands with cable-ties and raiding the flat in Putney.
The heartless thieves stole cash, Christmas presents and a two-month-old blue merle American XL bulldog puppy who remains missing.
This week Cloherty, of Orpington, Kent, was sentenced to 12 years in prison, Ludlow, of London, to 12 years and Cook, also of London, to 10 years.
They were all found guilty of aggravated burglary after a seven day trial at Kingston Crown Court on Wednesday, November 9.
A police probe established the three men left Ludlow’s address an hour before the burglary took place.
Detectives discovered the trio had met up and phoned each other ahead of the shocking burglary and travelled to Putney a few days before the raid.
Officers believe this was either an aborted first attempt to commit the burglary or a scouting mission to identify points of entry and cameras at the address.
Speaking after sentencing, DI Andy Durham said: “These individuals pretended to be police officers to gain entry, before using extreme violence to rob a mother in her family home.
"They 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 that with the brave support of the victim we were able to bring these violent offenders to justice and achieve sentences commensurate to their offending.”
And DI Dan Whitten from the Met, 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.”
He added: “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.”
Police continue to appeal for information in relation to the stolen puppy.