Black Country bus robbers locked up after knife threats and carjacking
Three violent young friends who staged 11 robberies and broke the jaw of a pub doorman while “taking a walk on the wild side” have been locked up.
Judge Michael Challinor told Zain Hanif, aged 19, 20-year-old Amar Dhamia and Tamara Foster, also 19, who were responsible for the spree of violent offending: “The robberies often took place on public transport and bus stations.
"These were deliberate offences often committed when you were drugged or drunk. There were threats that people would be stabbed.
"This sort of behaviour produces an atmosphere of fear."
Hanif and Dhamia, who each received five years detention in a Young Offenders Institution, robbed a university student of a £6,000 Rolex watch on the top deck of a Birmingham to Dudley bus on January 16.
Later the same day Dhamia pushed a man down the stairs of another bus after the phone he had just stolen was returned to the victim by a passenger.
The court heard how the pair also ordered the driver of a Ford Focus waiting in traffic near Brierley Hill High Street to get out as they jumped in and sped off as the lights changed in another offence, said Mr Dean Easthope, prosecuting.
Hanif, from Norman Street, Dudley, drifted away from college and family to embrace “the culture of pro criminal street crime,” Wolverhampton Crown Court heard.
His barrister, Mr Richard Peyton-Phillips, concluded: “He took a walk on the wild side.”
The defendant admitted six robberies, two assaults and twice being armed with a knife as he took mobile phones from men at Dudley bus station on September 5 and November 6, putting a blade to the throat of one while warning he would be stabbed if he did not reveal the handset's unlock code.
He also stole three bottles of vodka during a robbery at Michael’s supermarket in Wolverhampton Street, Dudley on October 28.
Dhamia, of Park Avenue in West Park, Wolverhampton, pleaded guilty to five robberies and an assault.
He also robbed a man of a phone at Stourbridge bus station on October 22 and stole another after a scuffle at Dudley bus station four days later.
Foster, of Long Lane, Halesowen, admitted four robberies - three of which were phones taken from youngsters at a Dudley skate park - an assault and twice being armed with a knife. She was detained for three years.
Judge Challinor told her: "I accept you were vulnerable to the pull of gang culture."
She and Hanif were also involved in an attack on doormen at the The Saracens Head in Dudley town centre after they were refused entry. A member of staff received a fractured jaw in the July 2018 fracas.
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