9:05am Wednesday 12th December 2012
By Andrew Bloss
An alleged gang member told a shop owner he was the "King of London Road" and would kill him if he helped police as a witness, a court heard.
Edward Armstrong-Anton, 37, of Broadstairs, Kent, went into the Phoomi Supermarket Store on Tuesday August 21 this year and assaulted Wakeezan Manivasakam because he was helping the police with their investigations in a case against fellow gang member Shanoor Miah, Croydon Crown Court was told.
Mr Armstrong-Anton, who has pleaded guilty to assaulting Mr Manivasakam and his brother, Mannivannan Manivasakam, hit the shop keeper around 14 times.
He denies that his actions were related to witness intimidation and claims he assaulted the brothers because he lost his temper about a separate matter.
The court was told that Mr Armstrong-Anton was angry with Mr Manivasakam for being a witness in a case against Shanoor Miah.
The court heard both Mr Armstrong-Anton and Mr Miah were said to be involved with the Tamil gang, the Jaffna Boys.
Jonathan Edwards, for the prosecution, told the jury that Mr Manivasakam had been victimised by members of the gang.
He said it culminated in an incident on July 22 this year where six men caused criminal damage and carried out public order offences.
The shopkeeper was then a witness against them. On August 14, one of the men, Mr Miah, intimidated the shopkeeper in relation to the July offences.
He was found guilty and sentenced at an earlier date, the court was told.
Mr Armstrong-Anton then visited the store at 11.45pm on August 21 to threaten and scare Mr Manivasakam.
Mr Edwards told the court: "He made threats against him and his family and his property.
"At one point Mr Armstrong-Anton said all his people are in custody, and told him if he called the police he would come back and kill him.
"He then told Mr Manivasakam that without his permission he can’t run the store. He then told him he was the King of London Road."
Wakeezan Manivasakam, who gave evidence behind a screen, said he was mentally scarred by the incident.
He said: "He beat me around the cheeks. He told me if we went to the police he would cut my penis off. He told me I couldn’t run the shop without his permission.
"We don’t have any protection from these Tamil gangs. They have asked me for free drinks before and I have given it to them. There is a fear inside me."
The case continues.
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