'Barbaric' men jailed for 28 years over violent Hackney robberies where victims were sprayed with ammonia
PUBLISHED: 18:44 08 December 2017 | UPDATED: 18:57 08 December 2017
Two men who sprayed high strength corrosive liquid in the faces of two women during violent robberies in Hackney have today been sentenced to a total of 28 years.
Sadik Kamara, 24, of Booth Road, Newham, and Joshua Jordan, 20, of Ruscoe Road, Newham, were described as “horrifying, cruel and barbaric” at the Old Bailey.
The court heard Kamara – who is a “well established rap artist” going by the name Trizzy Trapz – and Jordan travelled from Newham to Hackney to commit the robberies on March 10.
Their first target was a family-run supermarket in Mare Street. The pair were part of a gang who had been watching the supermarket earlier in the evening.
The gang of five males waited until the shopkeeper, a woman in her early 50s, was alone in the store before striking. In a carefully planned attack with a getaway car and a lookout waiting nearby, four of the attackers entered the store wearing gloves and masks.
None of the robbers made any demands or gave the victim a chance to respond before Kamara squirted high strength ammonia in the face of the victim several times burning her.
The gang sped off in a getaway vehicle, and about 10 minutes later happened to drive past their next victim, a woman in her late 50s, on Hassett Road, Homerton. She had been walking to a friend’s house after getting out of a taxi.
Two members of the gang forced the woman to the floor and one pinned her face to the pavement while the other repeatedly sprayed the woman in the face with a fresh bottle of ammonia.
As with the first attack, it was only after the victim was burned by the liquid and lying injured that attempts were made to steal from her. The pair stole her handbag and ran back towards the car. A witness saw the pair laughing amongst themselves as they ran away from the burnt victim on the floor.
Discarded bottles used by the gang in the robberies were found near to the crime scenes. The ammonia they contained was of high strength, and the bottles were marked with warnings the contents could cause “severe skin burns and blindness.”
Both victims were rushed to hospital with facial burn injuries, one suffering chemical burns to her mouth. Due to prompt medical treatment immediately after the attacks, neither victim has been permanently disfigured. But due to the physiological trauma, the shopkeeper has now been forced to give up working in the supermarket.
Kamara and Jordan were arrested at their homes in May. Paperwork was discovered at Kamara’s property showing the day after the robberies, he had sought treatment at a hospital on the other side of London, claiming he had been cleaning and had accidentally squirted ammonia in his eye. He has since made a full recovery.
In October, they were convicted of two counts of applying a corrosive fluid with intent to burn, maim, disfigure or disable or to do some grievous bodily harm; one count of robbery and one count of attempted robbery. The jury took less than an hour to return unanimous guilty verdicts.
Det Cons Ben Kahane, who led the investigation, said: “The behaviour of both Kamara and Jordan was cowardly in the extreme. Five physically strong males preying on lone slightly built women to attack and rob.
“The use of ammonia to burn their victims was completely unnecessary to achieve their aim of to steal. I hope they use the imprisonment they have received to reflect on this.”
Kamara and Jordan were both sentenced to 14 years’ imprisonment. Kamara must also pay £1,000 to each of his victims.