Man found guilty of “terrifying” armed robberies

Okeeno Blair stole a total of £27,400 Pic: Met Police

A 23-year-old man who committed a spate of armed robberies at Lewisham bookmakers was found guilty last Wednesday after a two-week trial at Woolwich Crown Court.

Okeeno Blair was charged with five robberies committed between November and January at Ladbrokes branches in Lewisham. He was found guilty of conspiracy to commit robbery and conspiracy to commit false imprisonment.

Blair, along with an unknown accomplice, approached Ladbrokes employees on the street before threatening them at gunpoint and demanding the shop’s keys and alarm code.

Police said Blair was arrested on January 11, 2016 after stealing a total of £27,400 along with each victim’s mobile phone during the spree.

One of the robbers would hold the victim captive while the other entered the shop and stole cash before fleeing on foot.

Flying Squad officers identified Blair by analysing CCTV footage and forensic evidence found at the scene of the robberies.

Detective Inspector Nick Blackburn, of the Met’s Flying Squad, described the robberies as “terrifying” and “brazen”. He said: “Blair was responsible for carrying out this spree of robberies over approximately six weeks. A number of Ladbrokes employees had a gun pointed at them, and they feared for their lives. His prompt arrest and conviction has averted a potential serious threat to public safety and commercial premises in particular.”

Blair is still awaiting sentence, but Blackburn has suggested that he “faces a lengthy prison sentence”.

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