Leader of gang who sprayed ammonia in Mare Street shopkeeper’s face is jailed

Peter Brown.

Peter Brown. - Credit: Archant

The ringleader of a gang who threw ammonia at a Mare Street shopkeeper and a random woman in Homerton has been jailed for 10 years.

Peter Brown, 29, of Stanford-Le-Hope in Essex admitted attempted robbery and throwing a corrosive fluid with intent at Wood Green Crown Court in August and was sentenced today.

On March 10 last year the shopkeeper in her 50s was alone when four masked men entered and squirted her with high-strength ammonia, causing burns to her face.

After screaming for help she was again sprayed with the substance, before pressing the panic alarm. The gang ran off empty-handed, but not before one of them stamped on her so hard she had a footprint on her body.

Minutes later they passed a woman in Hassett Road, Homerton, who was walking to a friend’s house. They forced her to the floor and pinned her face to the pavement while one repeatedly sprayed the ammonia in her face.

They then stole her handbag and ran back to their getaway car. A witness told Wood Green Crown Court during the trial that they saw the pair laughing while running along a nearby street with the woman’s handbag.

The court heard Brown had travelled from Essex to Hackney and met four other men – two of whom have already been jailed – and gave them the ammonia to use in the robbery.

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Det Con Ben Kahane who led the investigation said: “Peter Brown is a dangerous man. Even though he did not physically enter the shop and throw the ammonia, Brown provided it and planned the attack in detail so is equally culpable.

“It was shocking to see Brown grinning in CCTV footage seconds before the gang struck, knowing full well what was in store for their victim as he cowardly waited nearby. The level of violence used was unnecessary and barbaric.”

Sadik Kamara, 25, and Joshua Jordan, 21, both of Newham, were sentenced to 14 years each in October for the same offence.