A wanted man, who failed to attend court for his trial, has been convicted of several offences including kidnapping and robbery.
Guled Aidid, 39 of no fixed address, remains wanted by police after failing to attend his trial at Bristol Crown Court between Monday 30 January and Thursday 2 February.
A jury found Aidid guilty of robbery, two counts of blackmail, three counts of possessing criminal property, kidnapping and being in possession with intent to supply class B drugs (cannabis).
He was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years for the main offences, with an additional eight months for drug offences to run concurrently.
A second man, 37-year-old Issa Farah, was found guilty of money laundering in the same trial. He had also been charged with kidnapping and blackmail, but was found not guilty of these offences.
Farah, of Parade Court in Speedwell, was ordered to complete 80 hours’ unpaid work and to pay court fees.
The charges relate to an incident on Sunday 27 March last year.
The victim, a man in his 20s, had been visiting Bristol with his friend. During the night, the two were separated and the victim befriended Aidid.
Over the course of an hour or so, Aidid threatened the victim and demanded money. He took the victim to a cashpoint in Cabot Circus and ordered him to withdraw £300 – which Aidid then stole.
The victim was then taken by the offender to a nearby taxi which was being driven by Farah. He took him to another location where further threats were made for money and the victim paid an additional £300 to Farah’s personal account. Farah then transferred £250 to Aidid’s account and kept £50 for himself.
The victim was subsequently dropped off at a nearby taxi stand where he fled and contacted police.
Assisting officer in the case, PC Craig Gardiner, said: “Shortly after Aidid appeared before magistrates after being charged, he was released on bail. However when officers attended his address to place a tag on him, he was already gone.
“The victim has shown immense bravery in coming forward following such a terrifying ordeal, but there will be no sense of justice until Aidid has been apprehended and imprisoned to serve his sentence.
“Aidid is a dangerous individual who is still wanted by police. He has shown no remorse for the actions on the victim, who was a visitor to our city, and has proven himself to be a menacing and threatening man who went to great lengths for money.
“He is a Somalian national described as around 5ft 8ins, of slim build, with black hair and brown eyes.
“We have carried out a number of enquiries to locate Aidid. It is possible he may still be in the UK, but our working hypothesis is that he is abroad and we are working with our international law enforcement partners to find him as a matter of urgency.”
If you see Aidid, or have any information on his whereabouts, please call 101 and quote reference 5222072328.