Two men have been sentenced to a total of 13 years’ imprisonment for spraying a noxious substance at a man in Hillingdon before stealing his car.
Jonathan Fernando, 33 (01.01.85) of Oakwood Road, Pinner, Hillingdon was sentenced on Thursday, 5 April at Isleworth Crown Court to a total eight years’ imprisonment. He received:
- Seven years and six months’ imprisonment for robbery;
- Three years’ imprisonment for administering a noxious substance, to run concurrently;
- Six months’ imprisonment for dangerous driving, to run consecutively.
He was also disqualified from driving for six years.
Harrison Bryson, 20 (05.12.97) of no fixed address, was sentenced on the same day to a total of five years’ imprisonment. He received:
- Four years’ imprisonment for robbery;
- Two years’ imprisonment for administering a noxious, to run concurrently;
- 12 months’ imprisonment for various other theft offences, unrelated to the incident on 25 August.
Fernando was found guilty and Bryson pleaded guilty at Isleworth Crown Court on Friday, 2 March.
The incident took place at around 22:25hrs on 25 August 2017 whilst the 25-year-old victim was sitting in his parked car on Oakwood Road in Hillingdon.
Fernando and Bryson approached the car and knocked on the window, which the victim wound down. Bryson then sprayed a noxious substance – pepper spray - directly onto the victim’s face, eyes and upper body.
The victim felt an instant burning sensation to his eyes and skin and got out of the car in shock.
Fernando and Bryson then got into the man’s vehicle, with Fernando in the driver’s seat and Bryson in the front passenger seat, and drove off.
The victim headed back towards his home to wash away the substance and then called the police.
Police attended the victim’s home along with London Ambulance Service (LAS), who deemed that the victim would have no lasting injuries. The victim was left with reddening to his face, neck, left arm and a bloodshot left eye, but has since made a full recovery.
Whilst driving the victim’s car - a Mercedes-Benz C-class AMG - Fernando drove into two stationary cars causing extensive damage to all three vehicles, as well as crashing into a house on Hayden Drive in Hillingdon and a residential wall on Wiltshire Lane in Harrow.
Fernando and Bryson were seen on CCTV getting out of the car and fleeing after searching it for the victim’s valuables. Nothing was taken.
Police conducted a search at Fernando’s home address, but no evidential items were found.
The car was found abandoned on Wiltshire Lane and forensic evidence linking Fernando and Bryson to the car and the crime was recovered.
The following day, the victim was in the front passenger seat of his friend’s car when he recognised Fernando and Bryson in the same area where he was attacked. He immediately called police.
Fernando was later arrested on Oakdene Road in Hillingdon after he attempted to evade arrest by climbing out of a rear window at his home address on 18 September 2017. Bryson was arrested at an address on Thirlmere Gardens, Northwood in Hillingdon on 29 September 2017. Both were charged as above.
Detective Constable Stephen Rothwell, from Hillingdon CID, said: “These robust sentences reflect the seriousness of these offences, which can cause life changing and even life threatening injury.
“These men did not think twice about the ramifications of their actions and we will continue to ensure criminals like them are behind bars and off our streets.”
If you are in fear of being attacked with acid, or know someone who is planning to use it, please report it to police on 101 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or in an emergency call 999.