July 25 2014 Latest news:
by Sam Blewett and Sam Gelder, Reporters
Monday, April 28, 2014
A minicab driver who was robbed “feared for his life” as a thug thrust an imitation shotgun into his chest before stealing his car, phone and money.
Luke Rogers, 26, was jailed last week after pleading guilty to the terrifying attack on Dewan Ashrafi in Cedar Road, Romford in July.
After ordering Mr Ashrafi to pull over at a cashpoint, Rogers attacked the father-of-three, saying he wouldn’t shoot him because he was “nice” to him.
It caused the driver, of Chadwell Heath, to consider quitting his job.
“He was shaking,” said Mr Ashrafi of his attacker, when speaking exclusively to the Recorder. “As soon as I got out the car he stuck the gun into my chest. He said ‘because you have been nice to me I’m not going to shoot you. Give me £100 and I’ll let you go’.
“I tried to grab the gun but couldn’t. He wanted my phone and car and I said ‘take it’. I feared for my life and was worried about my family.”
Amazingly, Mr Ashrafi said Rogers apologised to him while driving off in the stolen Audi, later found dumped in Ilford.
The 37-year-old, of Chadwell Heath, had picked up Rogers, who he said was “friendly” at the start of the journey, at 9pm in North Street, Romford, before driving around for two hours under his instruction.
After the incident, he took two weeks off work through stress, before returning because he “needed to make a living”.
He said: “If I gave up my profession, how would I feed my family?
“Things changed so much after that night though – now I might not pick somebody up because I’m scared.”
Rogers pleaded guilty to robbery and possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear at Snaresbrook Crown Court on April 17.