Pensioner Jailed After Becoming Dealer's Getaway Driver Because He Was Lonely
An 81-year-old man who became a getaway driver for a drug dealer because he was lonely has been jailed.
Ian Hemmens helped the dealer flee after he stabbed a rival in an attack which prosecutors described as 'potentially fatal'.
The retired burger van worker was found guilty of helping Mahamud Sami flee to Bahrain and was sentenced to nine months in prison at Portsmouth Crown Court.
Co-defendant, Akeem Adebayo, 23, was jailed for nine years for wounding with intent and two charges of possessing cocaine and heroin with intent to supply.
Hemmens used his green Citroen C3 to help Adebayo and Mr Sami flee from Chichester to Bognor Regis on 10 March, after a fight broke out with Lithuanian rival Dimitrijs Semelis, the court heard.
Amy Packham, prosecuting, said Adebayo held Mr Semelis on the ground while Mr Sami stabbed him five or six times, with Mr Sami fleeing the scene in Hemmens' car.
According to The Independent, Judge Hetherington told Hemmens: "You assisted an offender by driving him away from the scene when you knew he must have been involved in a serious assault, you saw blood on him and you undoubtedly knew that he had been involved in drug dealing.
"But your involvement was considerably more than this one journey, you made several journeys on that day and on the night before, you would have been aware that you were being used as a driver whose age and appearance would have been unlikely to draw attention."
Ms Packham said the punctured lung suffered by Mr Semelis could have potentially been fatal, adding that Hemmens played a key role in perverting the course of justice.
She said: "It was life-threatening, he was lucky he was treated so quickly and successfully.
"Assisting the offender was effective, it not only took Mr Sami from the scene and prevent[ed] his arrest, it then allowed Mr Sami to leave the Chichester area and then the country.
"The last known whereabouts is he was on a flight to Bahrain. There is an all-ports warning out for him which has not been triggered yet."
Defending Hemmens, Mark Kessler said that his client's feeling of isolation caused him to get involved in the illegal activity.
He said: "It's unusual to find a man of Mr Hemmens' background should be in court at his age for a matter of this nature, it's very strange indeed.
"The defendant admits that he likes talking to people and that is why it has come about."
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