Two violent burglars are behind bars after two Met retired officers on duty to stop them.

David Hansen, 27, of Lawes Way, Barking Riverside, Barking and Dagenham, and Sean Bello, 24, of no filed abode were sentenced to nine years; and seven and a half years respectively.

Both were found guilty of aggravated burglary at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Friday, February 14.

The court heard that at around 5:25pm on August 11, 2019, retired Met sergeant, Kenneth Alen was at home in South Woodford when he noticed suspicious activity.

A suspect vehicle, a black Audi S-Line, was seen repeatedly going the wrong way down a one way system before parking up outside a residential address.

Two men got out and put on face coverings and hoodies and forced their way in a house belonging to a woman and her young family.

By this time Mr Alen had called 999 and then approached the suspect vehicle and spotted a man sat in the driver’s seat before the vehicle sped off.

He then headed towards the house broken into, the two suspects were making their way out and punched Mr Alen several times.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

David Hansen, 27, of Lawes Way, Barking Riverside, Barking and Dagenham, was jailed after attempting to burgle from a family home in South Woodford

Response officers from the East Area Command Unit soon arrived at the scene, where PC Natalia Kolodziej, chased the suspects into the kitchen.

She grappled with the two men while waiting for support from Mr Alen and her colleagues.

The men were detained and were found to be in possession of flick knives, a large screw driver, and a large quantity of gold – later identified as having been stolen from the address.

Detective Constable Danny D’Arcy, of the East Area Command Unit, said: “A police officer is never off duty, and this is a prime example of that.

“Hansen and Bello pose a significant risk of harm to the public and have been incarcerated for their crimes thanks to the valiant and selfless actions of Mr Alen and PC Kolodziej, who have teamed up to go above and beyond what is expected of them to apprehend armed and violent offenders in difficult circumstances.

"Also due to the diligent work of the officer in the case, DC McNamee of the East Area Gangs and Proactive Unit, they were charged with aggravated burglary and received the significant sentence."