Feb 27 2013 By Carl Gavaghan
TWO students at Brunel University were jailed on Tuesday at Harrow Crown Court for conspiracy to commit robbery.
Hamza El-Yamlahi (top picture), 21, of Oliphant Street, W10, and Hesham El-Blak, 21, of Severn Avenue W10, had admitted the charges in January.
El-Yamlahi and El-Blak were sentenced to two and half years each.
Detective constable Adrian Whitewick said: "The sentences should serve as a warning to other young men tempted to commit commercial robbery.
"The Flying Squad works closely with the business community to bring to justice those who commit robbery."
On November 3 2012 Hesham El-Blak arrived for his part-time job at the Carphone Warehouse in The Broadway, Stanmore.
Having parked his car at the rear of the premises, he was approached by a man who forced him to the back door and made him call a colleague within the shop in order to gain access.
Once inside, the suspect threatened El-Blak's co-worker with a knife and forced him to lie on the floor before making his way to the toilets. On his return, he had covered his face.
A short time later, El-Blak appeared to lunge at the suspect before being pushed against the rear door which was flung open.
However, rather than fleeing to find help, he immediately closed the door.
At this point, the suspect demanded the keys from the co-worker before repeatedly kicking him. He then opened the safe, and with the assistance of El-Blak, removed a number of boxed mobile phones.
The suspect then left through the back door. At this point, the police were called.
A review of the shop's CCTV showed that the suspect appeared to target the co-worker rather than El-Blak, despite him being of larger build and less resistant.
An eye-witness also reported seeing El-Blak speaking with the suspect behind the shop.
The suspect's DNA was recovered from duct tape left in the shop and forensic examination matched it to Hamza El-Yamlahi who was also recognisable from the shop's CCTV.
Further investigations established that El-Blak and El-Yamlahi were close associates and attended Brunel University.
The pair were arrested in November, last year for the crime and later charged.