A violent criminal who carried out "terrifying and calculated" robberies has been jailed for nine years.

Abdion Junior Hassan, 23, of Marlowe Road in Walthamstow, was one of four men convicted of twice attacking employees of a Whitechapel money transfer shop and stealing £350,000.

The workers were targeted while they moved money from the premises.

The first of two robberies happened on December 5, 2011 when the owner left the shop in his car.

While his vehicle was stopped in Snowshill Road, Manor Park, he was punched and strangled and the car keys were ripped from his hand.

The suspects stole bags containing cash from the car’s boot.

 CCTV footage later revealed people in two cars watching the shop before following the victim and launching the attack.

The same shop was targeted again on October 15 2012 when an employee left the shop with £30,000 cash in a plain bag for deposit at a nearby bank.

He took a mini cab to the bank but, after getting out a short distance away, he was punched and kicked and the bag was taken from him.

The four men were each sentenced yesterday at the Old Bailey.

Hassan was found guilty during the trial which ended on January 13 this year.

He was sentenced to nine years imprisonment, with an extended licence of four years.

Akhbar Hussain, 40, of Stileman House in Bow, was sentenced to six years in prison.

Shetu Meah, 31, of Colmar Close in Whitechapel, and Vinton Meade, 29, of Webb Estate in Clapton, were found guilty of the first robbery in 2011 and pleaded guilty to the second robbery.

Meah received a 12 year prison sentence and Meade was jailed for five years.

Two other men, Keshane Fairweather, 24, of Falmer Road in Walthamstow, and Rashid Khan, 33, of Narford Road, Hackney, were found not guilty.

Detective Sergeant Holly Simon said: "This was a terrifying act by a very calculated group of men who used violence to steal hard-earned proceeds from a small business."