Robber pistol-whips and holds gun to victims’ heads during violent spree

Jacquese Kiwele, who was jailed for a robbery spree in Norwich Photo: Police

Jacquese Kiwele, who was jailed for a robbery spree in Norwich Photo: Police - Credit: Archant

A robber pressed a gun to a man's head in an alleyway as he held up four men and emptied their pockets in a terrifying night of violence.

Jacquese Kiwele covered his face with a cloth as he attacked a security guard and his friend in the early hours of February 9, before targeting the four friends walking home from a house party in Norwich.

Kiwele, 24, admitted two assaults occasioning actual bodily harm, four robberies and possession of an imitation firearm with intent.

He appeared on Monday at Norwich Crown Court and was given an extended 12-and-a-half-year sentence.

Kiwele had been released under investigation in January after speeding away from officers in a white people carrier near Heathgate. Police found an axe, machete and chisel in the car, which he claimed were for gardening.

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Joanne Eley, prosecuting, told the court one of his victims finished work as a security guard at the Waterfront and met three friends.

They walked past Epic Studios on Magdalen Street around 4.30am when he noticed a man walking towards them. Kiwele covered his face with a blue cloth and took a gun out of his pocket, the court heard.

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The security guard was hit with the gun and knocked over, but escaped to call police as Kiwele pointed the gun at a friend's stomach and was "pacing around" before hitting the second victim on the head and running off.

The security officer had bruising around his eye, and his friend suffered a one-inch gash to the head.

Fifteen minutes later four friends were walking through Mill Lane after a house party.

As they passed an alleyway one of them was grabbed by Kiwele, his face covered.

"[The victim] felt something cold on his right cheek. He immediately thought it was a gun," Ms Eley said.

The gun was pressed to the back of his head and the victim was told to empty his wallet, containing two £5 notes.

Three of the group had been walking slightly ahead of their friend and turned to see Kiwele running after them saying "stop or I'll shoot you".

He put the gun in the face of one of the victims and checked his pockets. His friend challenged Kiwele who told him to shut up in a "mock gang tone".

Kiwele then turned on the other man and struck him in the mouth with its barrel in a "stabbing motion".

Another said: "You don't need to do this man", before being hit to the head.

All three men were told to line up against a wall with their hands in the air while Kiwele searched them, pressing the gun to the back of their heads.

Another of the group then arrived, and recognised Kiwele from school.

He said "What are you doing Jacquese - these are my friends".

Kiwele replied: "I am going to jail."

Kiwele stole tobacco, a wallet, a mobile phone, a lighter and £20.

One of his victims said in a statement: "It was absolutely terrifying. I knew it was not a toy, plastic gun. I could feel it cold on my cheek."

Kiwele was arrested by armed police in April after being identified by the man who recognised him from school.

Andrew Thompson, mitigating, said Kiwele had been homeless and living an "erratic lifestyle", drinking too much and smoking cannabis.

He added Kiwele had suggested his drink may have been spiked as he could not remember the robberies.

"His behaviour that night seems completely out of character for him," said Mr Thompson.

He said the case was "clearly worrying" but Kiwele was from a "good family" who had supported him at court.

Judge Stephen Holt said Kiwele, of Waterloo Road, posed a "high risk of serious harm to the public".

"This is a serious escalation in your criminal offending," he said.

Kiwele was jailed for an extended sentence of 12 years and six months, with eight years and six months in prison and the remainder on licence.

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