Teenager jailed for helping raiders with ‘Rambo knife’
- Credit: Archant
A teenager who helped masked men armed with a “Rambo knife” break into a flat in the Cally has been jailed.
Buster Goldsmith, 19, of Romford, was sentenced to 58 months for aggravated burglary and 24 months for attempted burglary to run concurrently.
At 11.30pm on August 11, Goldsmith and three others — all wearing hoodies, balaclavas and latex gloves — gained entry to the York Way Estate.
The court heard three of the men broke down a door on the fourth or fifth floor and surged into the flat, but it was accepted Goldsmith stayed in the corridor. One held a "Rambo knife" to the chest of an 18-year-old boy, who was lying in bed. He brandished the blade at the victim's mother when she flicked on the lights, before the invaders retreated downstairs.
They tried, unsuccessfully, to break into the neighbouring flat before running away. The court their intended target, an alleged friend of Goldsmith's, lives in the second flat.
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Goldsmith claimed the men forced him to take them to his friend's flat at knife point, but said he pointed out the wrong door because he was afraid they would kill the teen he had known since school.
Sentencing, Judge Sanders said: "The fundamental thing, it seems to me, which supports the general premise of what Mr Goldsmith says, is the going to the wrong flat. If he was a totally willing participant I simply do not see how it was that they went to flat [X] at all. A lot of the detail I don't accept. I'm in the dark precisely as to what happened, but I'm satisfied there was some form of pressure."
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He noted a physiologist's report, which found Goldsmith has a propensity for suggestibility and a desire to comply, along with learning difficulties and a "very low IQ", among the mitigating factors.
Prosecutor Kaja Reiff-Musgrove relayed an impact statement from the mother of the person in the first flat, saying: "This incident has left me in pieces. It was horrific to see my son in that position with the knife pointed at him. I thought we were going to die. I feel vulnerable being in my home."
Relaying the son's statement, she added: "I'm trying not to think about the incident, it has left me feeling numb. I don't feel safe in my own home - we shouldn't have to live like this."
Goldsmith was the only person caught by police after fleeing the flat.