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Teens jailed for meat cleaver and knife-point robberies

Updated: May 18, 2019

Three teenagers who threatened people with a knife and meat cleaver during a weekend robbery spree have been jailed for a total of more than 30 years after being caught by West Midlands Police.

Iosif Filipache and two friends aged 15 and 16 struck five times between 16-19 November last year in Birmingham making off with phones, cash and bank cards.

Their first victim – a 24-year-old man – suffered a brain haemorrhage and needed emergency surgery to save his life after being punched and kicked to the ground on a canal towpath near the NIA on the evening of 16 November.

Later that evening they threatened two Aston University students with a meat cleaver in a Lancaster Circus underpass before attacking another man that night in Perry Barr when they held a knife to his leg.

Three days later the trio left a café owner with nasty facial injuries following another subway robbery in Lancaster Circus – and while Filipache splashed out on the man’s stolen bank card his pals robbed two more students at the same location while armed with the cleaver. 

However, CCTV operators spotted the 15 and 16-year-olds – who are too young to legally be named publically – carrying out the final attack and directed West Midlands Police response officers to the scene.

The 16-year-old was tasered and the other boy arrested after being chased into Princip Street where he jumped into the canal in a botched escape bid.

Detectives seized CCTV showing Filipache using the café owner’s bank card in Handsworth and footage from cameras on board a bus the gang used following the Lancaster Circus robbery.

He was arrested from his home in Normandy Road, Aston, on the morning of 20 November where stolen property was recovered.

All three went on to admit the robberies and at Birmingham Crown Court on Tuesday (April 30) Filipache was jailed for 17 years. The 16-year-old and 15-year-old were sent to youth offenders institutes for 11 and six years respectively at an earlier hearing.

Investigating officer, Detective Constable Lucy Mooney from force CID’s robbery team, said: “This was a shocking series of attacks. Shocking in their severity and the use of weapons – indeed one victim nearly lost his life – but also given the age of the offenders.

“Thankfully that man has gone on to make a significant recovery but given his injuries this could easily have become a murder enquiry.

“CCTV operators witnessed the final attacks on two students as they happened and quickly alerted our response crews. The two younger offenders were arrested at the scene and Filipache detained the following morning from his home.

“I’m pleased we managed to get all three in custody very quickly as they would no doubt have gone on to commit more nasty robberies.”