LONDON: Two men have pleaded guilty to robbing boxer Amir Khan at gunpoint of his £70,000 ($86,000) diamond watch, Metro newspaper reported.
London’s Snarebrook Crown Court convicted Dante Campbell, 20, and 25-year-old Ahmed Bana on Friday after the two pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to rob and possession of an imitation firearm, with sentencing to be set at a later date.
Stuart Ponder, Met Flying Squad detective constable, said: “This was carefully planned and executed by individuals who knew exactly who they were targeting and what for.
“Despite being on a busy street with other members of the public close by, they had no qualms about brandishing a firearm and threatening Mr. Khan with the most brazen and extreme level of violence.”
The robbery, caught on CCTV, took place just after 9 p.m. on April 18, 2022, when 36-year-old Khan and his wife, Faryal Makhdoom, left a restaurant in Leyton in east London.
Pointing a gun in the former light welterweight champion’s face as the couple crossed the road, Campbell yelled, “Take off the watch,” before fleeing the scene in a silver Mercedes driven by Bana, which had pulled in front of Khan’s car just moments before the attack.
A Flying Squad investigation used CCTV footage to identify the car as being insured by Bana and through him identified Campbell as the gunman, with the pair arrested on June 22.
Speaking at a previous hearing, Khan told the court: “I am a sportsman, a fighter. I have been put in the toughest situations, but this is something different. This is really, really scary. When he put the gun to my face, I couldn’t recognize him because he had a mask on. I looked away because I didn’t want him to pull the trigger.”
Ponder said that every robbery leaves a “significant” mark on the victim, praising Khan for speaking out about the impact it had on both him and his family.
“That is why we are doing everything we can to target individuals who think they can get away with this type of behavior, from extra patrols at known robbery hotspots and developing intelligence on those carrying out these crimes,” Ponder added.
“Anyone who is a victim of a robbery should report it as soon as possible. This helps us ascertain crucial forensic evidence to take these violent criminals off our streets.”
Two other men arrested on suspicion of acting as “spotters” by dining in the restaurant to keep track of Khan’s movements were acquitted by a jury at Snaresbrook on Friday, while another man, Hamza Kulane, remains wanted in connection with the robbery.