Surrey Police

Couple sentenced to seven years in prison for armed robbery in Banstead

News   •   Jun 18, 2019 13:22 BST

A man and a woman who robbed a man at gunpoint on 16 May 2018 have both been sentenced to seven years in prison after being found guilty of possession of an imitation firearm and two counts of fraud at the Old Bailey on 30 April.

Benjamin Bateman, 20 of Green Wrythe Lane, Carshalton, and Alana Kuti, 19 of Wrythe Lane, Carshalton, approached the victim before threatening him with a gun and demanding his phone and wallet.

The robbery took place around 7.30am on 16 May 2018 on a bridle path parallel to Banstead train station off Banstead Road when the pair pointed a gun at the victim and demanded he hand over his wallet and phone.

The pair then used a card to withdraw money from a nearby cash machine before ordering a taxi to take them to Mitcham but were tracked down by police and arrested.

Officers discovered the phone number that made the call to the taxi company and were able to piece together their movements and identify Kuti as a suspect.

The pair sought to sell the stolen phone the following day but it had already flagged as stolen so were prevented from doing so, giving police further CCTV footage.

Kuti was arrested on a separate matter by the Met Police on 23 May, which then flagged her wanted status and allowed officers to question her about her involvement in the case before charging her with robbery, possession of an imitation firearm.

Officers investigated Kuti’s background and searched her property which led them to suspect Bateman had been with her at the time.

At her remand hearing on 26 May, Bateman was present at court and officers quickly moved to arrest him. Officers were also able to search his belongings and found further items that linked him to the robbery and were able to charge him with the same offences.

Detective Sergeant Leigh Wall, who was investigating the case has said:

“The fact that Kuti and Bateman have been sent to prison for seven years reflects the seriousness of the robbery, which saw them lie in wait for the victim and then rob him at gunpoint. This was a terrifying and distressing ordeal for the victim, who still suffers flashbacks as a result.

“I would like to commend him for his bravery in giving evidence in court and for having to relive the ordeal all over again.

“The sentence handed out today is a result of a lengthy and thorough investigation, which involved numerous enquiries, including hours spent looking at CCTV and analysis of mobile phone data. However, we were determined to ensure Kuti and Bateman were brought to justice and our hard work has definitely paid off.”