Knifepoint robber found guilty
A serial street robber has been found guilty of mugging a student and a schoolboy at knifepoint.
Ismail Mohammed Iqbal committed the offences within three weeks of being released from jail for similar offences.
He was convicted yesterday, by 10-to-two majority verdicts, of both robberies.
The 23-year-old was on licence at the time from a six-year jail sentence imposed in May 2008.
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The earlier offences, a robbery and three attempted robberies – all with knives – involved two fleeing victims being stabbed in the back by Iqbal, in January 2007.
After being found guilty of those crimes at a trial in May, 2008, the sentencing Judge, Peter Morrell, warned him: "If you do anything like this again you will be classed as dangerous and dealt with as such."
During this week's Leicester Crown Court trial, the jury was told that Iqbal robbed 21-year-old student, Stephen Warr, of a phone in St Alban's Road, off London Road, on November 30 last year.
The victim described a knife with a four-inch blade being held close to his chest.
The following day, he robbed a 17-year-old schoolboy, taking a phone and an iPod, in Biddulph Street, Highfields.
The teenager told the jury how the robber told him: "I've a knife and I've no problem stabbing you."
Recorder Richard Swain adjourned the case for a pre-sentence report to be prepared for a dangerousness assessment. To be classed as dangerous in law would leave him at risk of receiving a fixed minimum- term sentence for public protection and being on licence for life.
Iqbal is due to be sentenced on August 30.
Although left badly shaken, none of his latest victims were hurt.
Iqbal of Gwendolen Road, north Evington, Leicester, denied both offences claiming he had nothing to do with the muggings, despite both victims picking him out in an identification procedure.
He claimed that at the time of both offences he was elsewhere.
He said on November 30 he was dining at his brother's home and on December 1 was with a friend in his car.
His brother and friend gave alibi evidence in court supporting his account. Iqbal has already been recalled to prison to serve the unexpired licence period of his former sentence.
Recorder Swain allowed the prosecution to give "similar fact" details to the jury about Iqbal's earlier robbery offences.
James Bide-Thomas, prosecuting, said the previous convictions, although not proof he committed the latest offences, showed he had a "predisposition" towards that type of crime.