Robbers who left filmmaker in coma after squirting ammonia in his throat jailed

Three robbers who left a young filmmaker in a coma after squirting ammonia down his throat were jailed for a total of 40 years today.

Courtney Raymond, 20, and Jordan Dubois, 21, were attacked as they went to a flat in Ilford, east London, to make a video for a song called ‘Creepy’.

Makayla Hajaig, 19, greeted them outside on June 13 and said her sister, a singer called ‘Stafia’, was inside putting on her make-up, jurors heard.

Nathan Rasiah, prosecuting, said: "Stafia exists but has no involvement in this case.

"Her identity was used for the purpose of setting up the ambush."

Mother-of-one Hajaig led them inside and they were attacked by Adam Badejo, 30, and William Deo, 20, Snaresbrook Crown Court was told.

Mr Raymond was knocked to the floor and a third man, wearing a balaclava, poured ammonia down his throat.

Mr Raymond and Mr Dubois were told to hand over their bags containing cameras and lighting equipment worth over £2,000.

Hajaig, Badejo and Deo were convicted of two charges of throwing a corrosive substance, two of robbery, one of causing grievous bodily harm and one of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

The court was told Badejo had an appalling criminal record and only been out of prison for 10 days before the attack.

Judge Oscar Del Fabbro told the thugs: "There is understandable revulsion and abhorrence in the use of chemicals as a weapon of war.

"Quite rightly there should be no less abhorrence at the use of chemicals by criminals in acts of violence on the streets of London.

"Whatever it was in your mind, you cared nothing about them as human beings, who they were and what they might suffer.

"Cold, callous, and cruel, three words that describe each of you."

Badejo and Deo were both jailed for 15 years while Hajaig was locked up for 10 years.

They showed no emotion as they were sent down.

Mr Rasiah earlier told jurors how Hajaig used an Instagram account to contact Mr Raymond on May 11.

Mr Raymond and Mr Dubois were later sent a song by email with the subject "Creepy MP3".

Mr Rasiah said: "On 13 June the defendants arrived together. The men went into the property and laid in wait.

"Courtney Raymond and Jordan Dubois arrived at the scene and were met by a young woman. She told them it was her sister who contacted them, and she was upstairs getting her make-up done.

"The three of them went into the property together with Jordan Dubois carrying his equipment in an Adidas rucksack.

"Makayla Hajaig led them in saying the flat belonged to her sister’s family.

"Mr Raymond recalls two or three men running at them from upstairs and a large figure with a balaclava coming towards him with a bottle.

"They both recall him squirting a liquid in their faces. Mr Raymond believed it was acid, but it was in fact ammonia.

"Mr Raymond was punched in the stomach his knees gave way, but he was forced to get up and open his mouth.

"One of the figures poured the liquid down his throat and it started to burn."

Mr Raymond and Mr Dubois managed to get away and staggered to the home of neighbour Damien Butler who began pouring water over their faces.

Giving evidence Mr Raymond told the court: "It was very dark when we went inside the door, it was pitch black.

"We were waiting for probably 30 seconds when I suddenly heard a bunch of people running downstairs.

"I didn’t know what was happening, I couldn’t see nothing – just three figures in balaclavas.

"My sight was impaired by ammonia, they came down the stairs straight for us.

"They had a bottle and squirted it straight in my eye, in my right eye and in my left eye, it was just everywhere.

"I felt pain. It was all over my face, my lips, everywhere. It was burning me.

"Then they assaulted me; punched me in the face and the stomach.

"They dragged me up and told me to open my mouth. I tried not to but they forced it open.

"They poured ammonia in my mouth and it went down my throat.

"I was scared. I am still traumatised."

Mr Raymond said he felt in ‘danger’ as soon as he arrived because Hajaig was acting strangely.

"She said she was her [Stafia’s] sister and she was upstairs doing her makeup.

"She was asking a lot of questions about us and it all seemed a bit weird to me.

"I felt maybe we were in danger – it was unusual."

Mr Raymond was was sedated and placed in a medically induced coma and remained in intensive care for some 13 days after the attack, the court heard.

Hajaig, who claimed she was victim of a acid attack in March this year, claimed she thought it was a genuine music video.

She said: "I really believed it was a music video. I would not have gone there if I knew that was going to happen because of the experience I have had.

"I had no idea this incident was going to happen. The fact that I have been in that position myself and I know what it is like I would never want to do that to someone else."

Rochelle Collins, defending Hajaig, said she was the sole carer of a young child and she suffered from anxiety and depression.

Gerwyn Wise, for Deo, said he had a traumatic childhood and was made homeless in his teens.

Badejo, of Dagenham, Deo of Archway, north London, and Hajaig of Dagenham, all denied two charges of throwing a corrosive substance, two charges of robbery, one charge of causing grievous bodily harm and one of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Hajaig alone denied a further charge of assisting an offender.

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