Published: 00:01, 30 October 2017
A teenager who was part of a gang that robbed a terrified taxi driver at gunpoint was given a lenient sentence after a judge accepted he was “led along” by others.
Emmanuel Nkrumah-Buansi was given three years youth custody but will only have to serve about six months because of time spent on remand and a curfew.
Maidstone Crown Court heard self-employed cabbie Ibrahim Mohammed received a call at 2.30am on August 27 last year to go to Priory Gardens in Dartford.
When he arrived he saw a black youth wearing a baseball cap walk towards his car. As he opened the door he heard shouting and about four men approached.
“One opened the driver’s door and had what appeared to be a gun,” said prosecutor Julian Winship. “He pointed it towards his face. We can’t say who that person was.
“It was a joint enterprise. He [Nkrumah-Buansi] is one of the contenders for that role. The man demanded money and threatened to shoot him.
“Some cash and a mobile phone was taken. Mr Ibrahim was punched in the head. The gang ran off and he summoned help.”
The cab was examined and Nkrumah-Buans’ palm print was found on the outside of the driver’s door.
Mr Winship said the GPS tracking software on the victim’s phone moved to Mayfair Road in the town and police went to Nkrumah-Buansi’s home there.
Examination of his mobile phone revealed searches for pawnbrokers, the phone model taken in the raid and “cab driver attacked in Dartford”.
Nkrumah-Buansi, now 18, claimed he was told to make the searches under coercion. When interviewed, he said he had been at home in bed at the time of the robbery.
He stood trial at Basildon Crown Court after denying robbery and possessing an imitation firearm but changed his plea to guilty on the third day.
He then made an application to change his plea back to not guilty, claiming he acted under duress, but it was refused.
Rajinder Clare, defending, said the cannabis smoking teenager had been “recruited into gang culture and enticed into criminal conduct”. He had been attending college and making “stellar” progress.
“He has had a multitude of problems in the past,” said Mr Clare. “We say the features of this case are truly exceptional.”
Nkrumah-Buansi, of Bexleyheath, also admitted burgling Pizza Hut at Bluewater shopping centre.
He and others entered in the early hours of June 26 last year and stole drinks. He was identified from CCTV footage and his DNA left at the scene.
Every morning at 10am we play you an hour of tunes from the 90s. We call it, #WeLoveThe90s.
Play 'Say It' with Garry and Laura on kmfm Breakfast and you could win £1,000!
Wake up to kmfm Breakfast with Garry and Laura - it's Kent's alarm call.