THE brother of a rapper murdered in a drive-by shooting in South Norwood has been warned he faces jail after pleading guilty to robbing people outside banks. Amir Tufail, 19, and friends Jermaine McLean, 19, and Stephen Crawford, 18, were part of a gang who "picked off" customers shortly after they withdrew money. Amir and McLean pleaded guilty to two counts of robbery, and Crawford one, during a short hearing at Croydon Crown Court today (Thursday). Explaining their methods, Andrew Ramsubhag, prosecuting, said: "What these defendants were doing is that some would stay in the bank and watch customers while they were withdrawing money. "Then, using a hands free headset, they would inform the others and, when the person left the bank, they were robbed of their money." The court had previously heard that CCTV footage showed two of the teenagers in one of the Santander banks. All three offences took place between May 22 and June 19, 2012. Amir, of Beaconsfield Road, Chatham, pleaded guilty to one robbery on May 22 and another on May 23. He denied involvement in another robbery on June 19 to which the prosecution offered no evidence. McLean, of Antigua Walk, Upper Norwood, pleaded guilty to one robbery on May 22 and another the following day. Crawford, of Dixon Road, South Norwood, admitted being involved in the robbery on June 19, but pleaded not guilty to the two earlier robberies, to which no evidence was offered by the prosecution. An application to dismiss the one charge against another alleged member of the gang, Tashawn Thompson, 18, will be heard next Thursday (May 9). Judge Warwick McKinnon, the Recorder of Croydon, adjourned sentencing until May 24 for reports to be compiled on three other defendants. He warned them: "These are serious offences and one has to consider custody as a live issue here." Umar Tufail, 25, was "deliberately executed" on July 15 last year because of a gangland feud between his younger brother Amir and rival Sanchez Thomas. Thomas and his best friend Kyrone Daley, both 19, were jailed for a total of 47 years last month after being found guilty of murder at the Old Bailey. Amir, who was playing computer games with Crawford in an upstairs bedroom at the time of the shooting, immediately believed he was the intended target, telling a police officer in the minutes after the killing: "I have a lot of enemies." Following the sentencing, Sajid Tufail, the boys' father, told the Advertiser that Amir had turned his life around and was no longer involved in gangs.
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