Sussex

Man, 81, guilty over drugs stabbing getaway driver charge

Ian Hemmens Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Ian Hemmens will be sentenced in October

An 81-year-old man has been found guilty of acting as a getaway driver for a man accused of stabbing a rival in a drugs dispute.

Ian Hemmens picked up Mahamud Sami after the attack in Bognor Regis, West Sussex, on 10 March, the court heard.

The retired burger van driver had claimed that he went to the seafront town on that afternoon out of "boredom".

Hemmens, of Bognor Road, Chichester, was convicted of assisting an offender.

The trial at Portsmouth Crown Court also saw Akeem Adebayo, an accomplice of Mr Sami, being found guilty over his part in the attack.

The court heard Mr Sami and Adebayo had chased Dimitrijs Semelis along the seafront at about 17:45 GMT in a "dispute over the supply of drugs" before Mr Sami stabbed him five or six times while Mr Adebayo held him down.

Mr Sami, a student from Chichester, has evaded arrest, the court was told during the six-day trial.

Hemmens claimed he had driven to Bognor on that afternoon out of "boredom" and told police he had set off on his own and picked up two hitchhikers on the way.

The retired burger van worker said: "I thought I will pick them up and maybe I will have someone to chat to for 10 minutes."

Image copyright Eddie Mitchell
Image caption Akeem Adebayo told police he had only used self defence

Adebayo, 23, of Colindale Avenue in London, was found guilty of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and two charges of possessing cocaine and heroin with intent to supply.

He told police Mr Semelis had launched the attack, and he had only pushed him away in self-defence.

Amy Packham, prosecuting, told the jury Hemmens was waiting in his car when Mr Sami jumped in the back seat.

Hemmens and Adebayo will be sentenced on 18 October at Portsmouth Crown Court.

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