Five men have been jailed for robbing a man on board a train near Gatwick Airport last year.
Sayed Shah, 23, of Fir Tree Gardens, Croydon, Marcus Skillern, 19, of Panton Close, Croydon, Davenand Jaipaul, 21, of Tankerton Terrace, Mitcham Road, Croydon, Adbinsair Abdullahi, 20, of Derby Road, Croydon, and Abdul Messai, 21, of Kingston Road, Raynes Park were all found guilty on one count of robbery after a nine day trial.
A spokesperson for British Transport Police said the men all boarded a train at Clapham Junction on April 18 2014 on a service heading from London Victoria to Eastbourne.
Once on board, they walked through the train being loud and behaving in an anti-social and threatening manner, police said, until they reached the first class section at the end of the train.
In the first class section, the group surrounded a man and one of the group sat next him.
Another member of the group sat opposite him staring at him in an intimidating way before reaching across and stroking his face.
Police said the victim was then asked by one of the group if his watch was gold. During this time all other passengers left the first class area.
The court heard that the victim was caused substantial fear by the group, who left the carriage a few minutes later. The victim did not see the group again, but when he arrived at Brighton he realised his wallet was missing.
The wallet contained a number of cards and $102 in Singapore dollars.
A number of passengers on board the train had called the police due to the group’s behaviour.
The train was boarded by police officers at Gatwick Airport Railway Station where the men were arrested on suspicion of robbery.
Several of the group were found with the victim’s property split between them.
Speaking after the sentencing Detective constable Ostin Elkins said: “The sentencing shows that we will not tolerate any type of crime or threatening behaviour on the rail network.
“These men actively sought out their victim on board the train and took the opportunity to intimidate and prey upon a man who was simply on his way home after a night out.
“Passengers are entitled to travel on the railway without fear. I am pleased to see that they all received sentences that will give them time to reflect on their actions.”
All five members of the group were sentenced at Blackfriars Crown Court on Friday July 17.
Messai, Abdullahi and Jaipaul were each sentenced to 30 months in prison, while Shah and Skillern received two years imprisonment.
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