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Four men guilty for violent offences following a dispute over money

News   •   Oct 09, 2019 17:43 BST

A man who was held against his will and tortured following a dispute about money has seen the attackers convicted.

Four men were found guilty of a number offences following the conclusion of a trial at Inner London Crown Court on Wednesday, 9 October.

They were convicted as follows:

  • Olutomi Baiyewu, 23 (24.06.96) of Nottingham Avenue, E16 – found guilty of robbery.
  • Sabir Rashid, 23 (27.07.96) of Paragon Close, E16 – found guilty of kidnap, false imprisonment and robbery.
  • Kevin Toonga, 24 (18.02.95) of Hathaway Crescent, E12 – found guilty of kidnap, robbery, false imprisonment and blackmail.
  • Bruno Pereira, 34 (13.09.85) of Valencia Close, E14 – found guilty of two counts of false imprisonment and one count of blackmail.

They will be sentenced at the same court on Friday, 8 November.

The court heard how the victim, a man aged in his 30s, had agreed in late 2018 to look after a quantity of money totalling £10,000 belonging to Toonga, Pereira and Rashid.

After a few months, Rashid contacted the victim to arrange the return of the money – however, the victim acknowledged he would have difficulty in paying it all back. They agreed to meet at bar in Canary Wharf on the evening of 4 March where Rashid was joined by Toonga and driven by Baiyewu.

After a short while, they escorted the victim to a car and drove him to a flat in Brixton where he was stripped naked, beaten and had a corrosive substance poured over his body.

The victim was also robbed of his house keys, phone, bank card and £300 in cash after he was forced to reveal his pin number.

The group also made threatening phone calls to the victim’s partner, alluding they would seriously harm the victim, and his family if the cash wasn’t returned.

The victim was then allowed to leave on the promise they he would return the money later that day.

However, he came across police in nearby Kings Avenue and reported his ordeal.

Officers launched an investigation to identify those who had been involved in the attack. This included analysis of hours of CCTV footage, identifying witnesses and phone analysis.

Detective Sergeant Paul Connelly of the Central South Command Unit led the investigation and said:

“This was a brutal and sustained attack which left the victim fearing for his life. Over a period of hours, he was held against his will and subjected to horrific violence – his ordeal only ending due to fears that neighbours in the flat where he was being held would hear his screams.

“Whatever the events that preceded this, there is absolutely no justification for violence.

“I commend my team for the painstaking hours they committed to this investigation and the lengths they went to in bringing these offenders to justice.

“Thanks to their diligent work, a group of dangerous individuals have been convicted and will now face a significant period of time behind bars.”

+Ibrahim Sanha, 33 (24.01.86) of no fixed abode was found not guilty at the same trial.