TWO YOUNG MEN who carried out violent robberies, throwing ammonia in the faces of their female victims, have been convicted after appearing at Wood Green Crown Court. The trial began on 2nd October and ended on Tuesday this week.
Sadik Kamara, 24, of Booth Road, Newham (a rapper who uses the name Trizzy Trapz) and Joshua Jordan, 20 of Ruscoe Road, Newham had pleaded guilty to attempted robbery. On the first day of the trial Kamara also pleaded guilty to a charge of applying a corrosive fluid with intent to burn, main, disfigure or disable or to do some grievous bodily harm. Jordan was found guilty of the same offence.
The two will return to the Court on 17th November for sentencing for this crime. The Court will also have to deal with the fact that when the robberies were carried out, Kamara was already subject to a suspended six month prison sentence for possession of an offensive weapon an assault on a police officer, of which he had been convicted in late 2016.
The two were part of a larger gang which carried out a robbery at a family-run supermarket in Mare Street, Hackney on 10th March. The robbery was caught on CCTV, which showed four men entering the supermarket wearing gloves and hoods, with their faces covered.
During the robbery Kamara squirted ammonia in the face of the shopkeeper, a woman in her 50s. She fought back and managed to press the store’s panic button despite having fallen to the floor – where one of the gang stamped on her. She managed to pour water on her face, which helped her burn injuries from the ammonia not become too serious.
The gang left that shop and about ten minutes later, as they were driving along Hassell Road, they saw a woman walking along the street. Two members of the gang got out of the car, forced the woman to the floor – where one held her down while the other repeatedly sprayed a corrosive substance in her face. They then made off with her handbag.
Ammonia bottles were found discarded near both crime scenes – bottles which were clearly marked to show that they had contained a strong solution of ammonia and warning that the liquid could cause injury. Fortunately both victims have made a good recovery from their injuries.
Hackney CID watched extensive CCTV footage and were then able to identify Kamara and Jordan as suspects. They obtained warrants and arrested them at their homes. In Kamara’s home they found paperwork indicating that he had himself sought medical treatment for ammonia burns on the day of the robberies – claiming that he had burned himself accidentally, while cleaning.
Detective Constable Ben Kahane, from Hackney CID, said, “The two victims in the case are hard-working, law-abiding members of the community who have endured a dreadful ordeal. The level of violence used was completely disproportionate. The witness testimony describing how two of the suspects ran off laughing I think sums up the callous enjoyment the gang felt in targeting their victims.
“It was due to a combination of luck and rapid treatment of the chemical burns with water that the victims escaped life-changing injuries. It is a reminder to the public that if they come across victims with corrosive substance burns, the best immediate treatment is pouring water on the injuries.”
The two young thugs have not revealed who the other two members of their gang were, and police are continuing to try to trace them and bring them to justice.