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6th Jul, 2022

Three men bundled driver into car after crash and forced him to withdraw cash from ATM machines

Editorial Correspondent 1st Jul, 2019 Updated: 1st Jul, 2019

THREE men bundled a driver into a car and forced him to withdraw cash from ATM machines following a crash.

Bilal Haq, Islam Haq and Leon Haq initially pleaded not guilty at Warwick Crown Court to charges of kidnapping and robbery following the incident in Warwick in March this year.

But after rejecting an application to transfer their legal aid to a different firm, they were given time to speak to their barristers.

Islam Haq, 25, of St Helens Road, Leamington; Leon Haq, 24, of St Gregory’s Road, Stratford; and Bilal Haq, 19, of Shakespeare Avenue, Warwick, then all pleaded guilty to the robbery.

The court heard on March 25 they robbed a man of £200 and a power tool.

The incident started with a minor collision between a Chevrolet Cruze and a Vauxhall Corsa in Shakespeare Avenue shortly before 5pm.

That led to a confrontation during which the Cruze driver was assaulted and marched to an ATM machine before being bundled into the Corsa and driven to another cashpoint in Market Place.

He had been forced to withdraw £200 and hand it over, and a power tool was also taken from his car.

Prosecutor Andrew Wilkins accepted the guilty pleas and said he would not ask for them to stand trial on the kidnapping charge.

Mr Wilkins explained: “The Crown accept the driving of the victim around could be considered as an aggravating feature of the robbery, and therefore does not require a trial.”

Judge Andrew Lockhart QC said with the detention of the victim in the car as an aggravating feature, the ‘starting point’ under the sentencing guidelines was four years, with ‘a range of three to six.’

But he agreed to adjourn sentencing for a medical report to be obtained on Islam Haq who it was said had been diagnosed as suffering from schizophrenia while he was in custody in 2017.

Remanding all three in custody, Judge Lockhart remarked on their change of plea and told them: “Sometimes we all need a reality check. You will get the appropriate level of credit for your pleas.”

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