Two men who sprayed a strong corrosive liquid into their victims’ faces during violent robberies in Hackney were sentenced to a total of 28 years last week.
The attacks by Sadik Kamara, 24, and Joshua Jordan, 20, were described as being “horrifying, cruel and barbaric” by Judge Dodd QC at the Old Bailey on Friday, December 8.
The court heard that Kamara and Jordan, from Booth Road and Ruscoe Road respectively in Newham, are both members of a gang that traveled from Newham to Hackney to commit two robberies on March 10.
They first robbed a family-run supermarket in Mare Street, Hackney, in an elaborate and carefully planned attack with a getaway car and a lookout waiting nearby.
Wearing masks and gloves, they waited until the shopkeeper, a woman in her early 50s, was alone in the supermarket before attacking her. Before she could react, Kamara squirted high strength ammonia at her several times, which burnt her face in the process. CCTV footage of the incident was released in October.
After speeding off in their car, the gang attacked their next victim 10 minutes later on Hassett Road, Homerton. The second victim was another woman in her late 50s walking to a friend’s house. Kamara and Jordan shoved her to the pavement and repeatedly sprayed her in the face with another bottle of ammonia.
The pair stole her handbag, laughing amongst themselves as they ran back to the car, according to a witness.
Both victims were rushed to hospital with facial injuries, one of them suffering from chemical burns to her mouth. Prompt medical treatment left neither victim permanently disfigured but the shopkeeper quit her supermarket job due to the resulting physiological trauma.
Discarded bottles of ammonia, marked with warnings that their contents could cause “severe skin burns and blindness”, were found near the crime scenes.
After the police raided their homes, both Kamara and Jordan were arrested in May. Paperwork at Kamara’s home revealed he sought hospital treatment the day after the robberies. He claimed he was cleaning and accidentally squirted the liquid in his eye. He has since made a full recovery.
Detective Constable 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 14 years’ imprisonment that they have received to reflect on this.”
Both Kamara and Jordan were sentenced to 14 years’ imprisonment. Kamara also has to pay £1,000 to each of his victims.