Bentham (on foot) with second suspect (on bike)

An Islington man has been jailed for a robbery outside a central London café as police continue to appeal for assistance in tracing his knife-wielding accomplice.

Odel Bentham, 27, (8.5.91) of no fixed abode but from the Islington area, pleaded guilty on Thursday, 15 November, at Southwark Crown Court to one count of robbery.

He was sentenced the same day to five years and four months’ imprisonment.

The conviction follows an investigation by detectives from Westminster Crime Squad into a knifepoint robbery in Westminster.

At 1423hrs on 1 October, two robbers riding mountain bikes approached the victim who was sat on his own at a table outside a café in Crawford Street, W1.

Bentham stole a watch from the wrist of the victim – a man aged in his 20s – while his accomplice held a hunting knife against the man’s chest.

A member of staff at a neighbouring café, along with other members of the public, intervened, forcing Bentham and his accomplice to make off on just one bike. They left a second mountain bike behind at the scene.

The victim’s Rolex Daytona watch has not been recovered and the second suspect, who was armed with the knife, has not yet been identified.

Both suspects were captured on CCTV near to the scene in York Terrace West, NW1 shortly after the incident. Detectives identified Bentham and arrested him on 16 October. He was convicted as above.

Officers are releasing the CCTV image in a bid to identify the second suspect. He is shown with his face covered, riding a white Trek bike and wearing a yellow high visibility jacket. He later changed this to a blue long-sleeved sports top.

DC Nathan Rock of Westminster Crime Squad said: “Although the second suspect had his face covered, I am certain that there will be people who recognise Bentham and will be able to help us identify his accomplice seen riding the bike.

“This man recklessly used a knife to commit a callous robbery. It is likely that he associated with Bentham in and around Islington, and it is vital that we trace him and bring him to justice before he commits further offences.”

Anyone with information is asked to call Westminster Crime Squad on 101 quoting reference 3862/01oct. To remain anonymous, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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