20th Oct, 2017

Restaurant boss jailed after criminal past catches up with him

Editorial Correspondent 12th Oct, 2017 Updated: 12th Oct, 2017

WHEN police searched a Leamington restaurant boss’s home they found credit cards he had stolen from a customer – and a driving licence he had taken in a robbery five years earlier.

And Mohammed Anwar’s past finally caught up with him when a jury at Warwick Crown Court found him guilty of the robbery and two offences of theft.

The 35-year-old of Hellidon Close, Leamington, who was manager of the Indus Restaurant in Bath Street at the time of his arrest, was jailed for two years and one month.

Prosecutor Sally Cairns said in 2011 a man went for a night out in Leamington town centre, and in the early hours of the morning he was seen outside a night club.

He was drunk, and two police officers stopped to speak to him to check that he was alright.

As they were talking to him, Anwar approached them and said he knew the man and would take him home, and led him away.

But as they went through a cutting between two roads near to the man’s home, Anwar dropped his Good Samaritan act and pushed him, causing him to fall to the floor.

He then took his wallet, containing his provisional driving licence, cash and bank card, from his pocket, and then walked off.

In March last year, police went to Anwar’s home on an unrelated matter, which has since been dropped, where they search his home and two cars and found the man’s stolen licence.

During their search they also found a further six driving licences reported to the DVLA as having been lost or stolen and a number of bank cards.

They included the driving licence and bank and credit cards which had been in a woman’s purse stolen duringa night out in Leamington in 2015.

And one of the places she and her friends had been that night was the Indus Restaurant in Bath Street, where Anwar was the manager at the time, and where she had left her bag on the floor.

When Anwar was questioned about the licences and bank cards, he at first said he had found them in the street at various times, and had been going to return them to the banks or the DVLA.

But in court he claimed they had been confiscated from people who had tried to use them in the restaurant, but which had been declined when he had put them in the card reader – so he had held them with the intention of passing them to the police.

After the jury unanimously rejected his account, Alistair Polson, defending, said Anwar had taken over the management of the Indus Restaurant and had been planning to buy out the owner.

He had spent £10,000 on refurbishing it, and was just weeks away from taking over the business when he was arrested, and was currently working as a delivery driver for a Chinese restaurant.

Mr Polson added that, although Anwar had previous convictions for dishonesty, including the use of bank cards, the robbery was out of character.

Judge Andrew Lockhart QC told Anwar: “I am satisfied you are a man who has a propensity to take and hold cards. You have made up a totally false story about your possession of the cards, and you also came into possession of other cards.

“You have lost a business which was relatively successful as a result – but sadly you used that business in a way which was a conduit for these offences.”

Restaurant boss Mohammed Anwar has been jailed for just over two years. (s)

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