Members of a gang who violently robbed an Asian jewellery shop have been jailed.

The six members of the Romanian gang were sentenced at the Old Bailey for stealing millions of pounds of jewellery from a shop in Turnpike Lane and others around the capital.

The court heard how the gang would target Asian jewellers and would steal mostly 22 carat gold items.

For each of the robberies the gang would force entry into the shop, armed with weapons, including hammers, axes, and sledgehammers and frighten members of staff in the shop.

Puit Danut Paunescu, 26, was sentenced to seven years and three months for the robbery of a jewellery shop in Turnpike Lane.

Vasile Alexandru Bataraga, 23, was given nine-and-a-half years for the robbery of jewellery shops in Turnpike Lane and East Ham.

Ioan Gavrilut, 26, was sentenced to nine years four months for the robbery of three jewellery shops including Turnpike Lane, Wembley and East Ham.

Constantin Daniel Irina, 30, got eight years for the robbery of jewellery shops in Turnpike Lane and Walworth Road.

Ovidiu Gabor, 25, sentenced to seven years for the robbery of a jewellery shop in Turnpike Lane.

Gheorge Macovei, 23 was given seven years for the robbery of two jewellery shops in Wembley and Turnpike Lane.

The robbery of the Turnpike Lane took place on September 15 last year and officers of the Met Police’s Flying Squad were following the gang before the raid.

Five members of the gang smashed their way into the shop and proceeded to break into display cabinets and remove large amounts of jewellery, shoving £64,000 worth of gold items into holdalls.

Police were able to arrest Irina, Gabor, and Roman as they left the shop and Batarag, Gavrilut and Macovei were arrested a short distance away from the shop.

Paunescu was arrested near waste grounds just off Denmark Road where officers later found pre-dug holes for the stolen gold.

Detective Chief Inspector Ian Corner, from the Flying Squad said: “This has been a particularly complex investigation into the robbery of valuable gold items stolen from a number of jewellers across London.

He added: “I am pleased with the sentences handed down to this gang and hope it acts as a deterrent to others. These were violent armed robberies during which innocent members of staff were terrorised and genuinely feared for their lives.

“It is even more shocking to know that this level of violence was inflicted on innocent customers who happened to be in the premises.”