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Bungling Crouch End bank robbers in court

PUBLISHED: 12:26 18 February 2010 | UPDATED: 16:47 07 September 2010

A TEENAGE getaway driver who took part in a bungled daylight robbery at a Crouch End bank has been spared jail, but banned from driving for two years. Learner driver Gakmar Gakmar, 18, of Aspern Grove, Belsize Park, was handed a suspended s

Rhiannon Evans

A TEENAGE getaway driver who took part in a bungled daylight robbery at a Crouch End bank has been spared jail, but banned from driving for two years.

Learner driver Gakmar Gakmar, 18, of Aspern Grove, Belsize Park, was handed a suspended sentence for his part in the robbery at Barclays Bank on May 29 last year, during which he knocked over a cyclist, injured his accomplice and damaged several other vehicles.

He pleaded guilty to robbery and two counts of possession with intent to supply heroin and crack cocaine on January 12 and was sentenced at Wood Green Crown Court on Friday.

His co-defendant Jonathan Mopo, 20, of South End Close, Hampstead, was jailed in August last year for four years after pleading guilty to robbery.

Judge Witold Pawlak also handed Sheriff Awards of £400 to two men - a soldier on leave from Afghanistan and a local businessman - who helped detain Mopo.

Learner driver Gakmar drove the pair to the bank in a stolen BMW, before Mopo attacked a private guard and grabbed his cash box as he made a delivery to Barclays, just after midday.

Mopo then jumped in the getaway car, which made off at speed, colliding with railings along the Broadway and causing the thief to strike his head.

It continued down the Broadway, striking other vehicles and a female cyclist - who fortunately was not seriously injured.

As the car crashed, however, members of the public managed to detain Mopo until police officers arrived, while Gakmar fled the scene.

He was arrested two weeks later, when drugs to the value of £1,705 were also found in his bedroom.

Investigating officer DS Katie Bays said: "The robbers' disregard for others in their bid to escape placed passing members of public at risk of considerable harm.

"Mopo, who also broke his leg, was lucky not to receive more serious injury. In addition to the sentence passed today, this should serve as a warning to other young men tempted to get involved in this type of crime.

"In any event, the robbers' efforts would have been futile - the cash box was dye activated and would have ruined any cash inside had it not been empty.

"The flying squad will use every means open to them to investigate commercial robberies and pursue those responsible."

As well as being banned from driving for two years, Gakmar was handed 33 weeks in a young offenders' institute for robbery and 32 weeks in a young offenders' institute for the drugs charges, but the sentence was suspended for two years.

In return he will be tagged for six months, must complete 180 hours unpaid work and a two-year supervision requirement.

He will also have monthly reviews with the judge that sentenced him.

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