81-year-old pensioner put behind bars after joining a gang because he felt lonely

An 81-year-old man from Chichester, UK joined a criminal gang and helped two men escape after they stabbed a rival has been imprisoned. 

Ian Hemmens aided suspects Mahamud Sami and Akeem Adebayo after they nearly murdered Dimitrijs Semelis. The retiree, who says he joined the gang in order to fight loneliness and because ‘he liked talking to people’ drove the criminals to Bognor Regis on March 10 where they attacked Semelis.

The men chased Semelis down and Adebayo then forced him to the ground shouting ‘just fucking stab him’, which Sami did five or six times, The Independent reported.

Afterward, Ian acted as the getaway ride and drove Sami away from the crime scene.

Judge Roger Hetherington sentenced Ian to nine months in prison.

He had the following to say:

You assisted an offender by driving him away from the scene when you knew he must have been involved in a serious assault, you saw blood on him and you undoubtedly knew that he had been involved in drug dealing.

But your involvement was considerably more than this one journey, you made several journeys on that day and on the night before, you would have been aware that you were being used as a driver whose age and appearance would have been unlikely to draw attention.

Photo: Steve Parsons/PA

In Ian’s defense. lawyer Mark Hessler said:

The defendant admits that he likes talking to people and that is why it has come about.

As for the other members – Muhamud Sami fled the UK on a plane to Bahrain so it seems that Ian Hemmens is the greatest getaway driver of all time. 23-yea-old Adebayo from Colindale, London, was sentenced to nine years behind bars for wounding with intent and possession of cocaine and heroin with intent to supply.

Photo: Steve Parsons/PA

On the surface, it all seemed like a great deal – gangsters acquire an inconspicuous elderly man as their getaway driver (it sounds like something coming straight out of Clint Eastwood’s, The Mule) and as a reward Ian Hemmens gets to cross ‘join a gang’ off his bucket list and battle his loneliness.

Photo: Steve Parsons/PA

Sadly, someone almost got murdered, and at his age, Ian should probably know better than to get involved with the underworld.

What are your thoughts on Ian Hemmen’s surprising decision? Let us know by joining the conversation in the comments, and please share this article if you enjoyed the read. 

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