A group of violent Birmingham carjackers have had their prison terms almost doubled after West Midlands Police and the CPS appealed the leniency of their original sentence.
West Midlands Police also released some CCTV footage (scroll down) of their violent attacks on members of the public as they conducted their rampage of sickening violence.
Sarweeth Rehman and Hussun Ashraf – both aged 22 – assaulted motorists with golf clubs, baseball bats or metal bars before driving off in high-end cars.
In October last year Rehman, from Hartopp Road in Alum Rock, was jailed for five years and nine months while Ashraf, from Stuarts Road in Stechford, was imprisoned for six years and four months.
West Midlands Police detectives and prosecutors took the case to the Appeals Court arguing that the violent nature of the offences warranted more time behind bars.
And yesterday (22 Jan), judges increased their prison terms to 10 and 11-and-a-half years respectively.
A third man, 22-year-old Adam Azal from Watson Road in Alum Rock, was part of a car theft conspiracy alongside Rehman and Ashraf in which they used a pick-up truck to tow away seven cars parked on Birmingham streets.
His original sentence was three years and 10 months – but has now also been increased to six years.
Speaking after the Appeals Court hearing, Solicitor General Robert Buckland QC MP, said:
“These men carried out a series of violent attacks, striking when the victims were alone and then making off with their cars. The Court’s decision to increase their sentences now reflects the severity of their crimes.”
Their violent robbery spree began on 24 August 2017 when Rehman threatened a BMW M4 driver for his keys in Shirley’s Baxters Green.
The driver fled, hurling his keys into a garden as he ran, before rage-filled Rehman set about smashing up the M4 and causing damage estimated at £10,000.
Later that day they stole a VW Golf Type R after dragging the woman driver from behind the wheel in Hathaway Road, Shirley, and struck again on 18 September when they robbed a man of his Audi RS6 in Church Road, Moseley.
And on October 2, Rehman followed a lone female driver onto her driveway in Barston Lane, Barston, before punching her and driving off in her Mercedes C-Class Estate.
Officers tracked the RS6 less than an hour later to Spreadbury Close in Harborne – and during a search of the car found an iPhone dropped by Ashraf in his haste to flee the deposition site.
His Stechford home was raided by police and another phone hidden in a wardrobe was forensically shown to have been used at the scene of three more carjackings.
It helped detectives link him to a robbery in Bracebridge Close, Balsall Common when a Mercedes was taken from a woman as she pulled onto her driveway, plus another two days later in Damson Lane, Solihull, when a man handed over keys to his BMW M135 having been approached by two men armed with a knife and golf club.
The third robbery saw a man wearing a balaclava drive off in a woman’s BMW M135 on 25 October from the Harvester pub car park in Boldmere Road, Sutton Coldfield.
A separate enquiry run by West Midlands Police’s Force Priorities Team exposed how they used a yellow breakdown recovery truck to tow away cars between 4 May and 13 June 2016.
It started on 4 May when a £17,000 VW Golf hire car was taken from an Avis Rental unit in Coleshill Road, Hodge Hill. They stole other cars from Stockland Road, Erdington; Chillinghome Road in Bromford; Cromwell Street, Nechells; Sladefield Road in Washwood Heath and Doncaster Way, Bromford.
Most were taken in the dead of night with owners waking to find tyre drag marks across the road where their cars had previously been parked.
Ashraf and Rehman admitted conspiracy to rob and conspiracy to steal motor vehicles. They also admitted two counts of assault with intent to rob in relation to two failed car-jackings on 9 February 2017 at Moat Lane and Fazeley car-parks in Birmingham.
Azam also admitted being part of the tow-truck plot.
One of the investigating officers, Detective Constable Chris Elmore, said:
“They targeted primarily lone motorists and often female drivers… a grotesque level of violence was used and some of the victims suffered nasty injuries after being attacked with weapons.
“I’m pleased the Court of Appeal has recognised the leniency of the original sentences and almost doubled the amount of time they’ll spend behind bars.”
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