The Bonnie and Clyde of Surrey: Lovers who robbed a commuter at gunpoint during a whirlwind romance are jailed for a total of 14 years
- Alana Kuti held pistol to Alex Landless’ while Benjamin Bateman demanded cash
- The pair, 20 and 19, had lain in wait for Landless outside Banstead railway station
- Convicted of robbery, possession of fake gun, and fraud by false representation
Alana Kuti, 20, (pictured) and Benjamin Bateman, 19, held an imitation pistol to Alex Landless’ chest and demanded cash at Banstead railway station in Surrey on May 16 last year
A couple likened to Bonnie and Clyde after they robbed a commuter at gunpoint during a whirlwind romance have been jailed for a total of 14 years
Alana Kuti, 20, and Benjamin Bateman, 19, held an imitation pistol to Alex Landless’ chest and demanded cash at Banstead railway station in Surrey on May 16 last year.
The pair lay in wait for the medical technician on a quiet path after researching guns and disguises online.
Mr Landless was on his way to work at 7.25am when he was confronted by Kuti covered head-to-toe in black clutching the imitation firearm.
She pointed it at Mr Landless while masked Bateman demanded his wallet and £800 Google Pixel 2 XL phone.
After withdrawing £500 from his bank account, supermarket worker Bateman walked up to him and whispered in his ear: ‘Remember, we know where you live.’
Mr Landless contacted station staff and police later released footage of the robbers lurking outside of the train station wearing face masks.
An Old Bailey jury found the couple guilty of robbery, possession of an imitation firearm and fraud.
James Batton, prosecuting, told the court that the psychological harm caused to Mr Landless was in the highest category.
He said Mr Landless had suffered serious psychological harm including ‘panic attacks’.
‘He is in constant fear of being unsafe and feels unsafe in the area in which he lives. He has suffered panic attacks.’
After withdrawing £500 from his bank account, supermarket worker Bateman (pictured) walked up to their victim and whispered in his ear: ‘Remember, we know where you live’
Penelope Blake, for Kuti, told the court: ‘In relation to Mr Landless he cannot be seen to be put in this category, at the time of this impact statement the effects would have been much more serious.’
She said the effects would be ‘lessened over time’ and asked the judge to be mindful of her age.
She has been described as lacking maturity and almost childlike.
‘I ask that you look at her offending through the prism of her age. I ask that you give her a sentence that gives her some hope, some light at the end of the tunnel.’
Guy Wyatt, defending, Bateman said: ‘He comes from a very positive family background. Since the trial he has admitted his involvement.
‘He says yes I am guilty, through me he expresses his contrition.’
Judge Angela Rafferty QC told the pair: ‘You both contested this matter.
‘You found in each other the kind of relationship that created the conditions for these offences to be committed. The effects on Mr Landless have been profound.
‘He is afraid to walk to work alone and to walk past the place the crime was committed.
‘He thought that life would end on that private path. He felt sadness for his relatives. When he gave evidence his courage was clear to me.
‘But for his eye for detail and his recall you might have got away with it.’
Kuti, from Banstead and Bateman, from Carshalton, denied but were convicted of robbery, possession of an imitation firearm, and two counts of fraud by false representation.
They were both jailed for seven years.
The pair waiting outside Banstead railway station before the incident on May 16 last year (left) and them running away afterwards (right)