Fake Amazon driver jailed for brandishing loaded shotgun in doorstep confrontation

·3-min read

A fake Amazon delivery driver who brandished a loaded shotgun at a homeowner in a terrifying doorstep confrontation has been jailed for six years and nine months. 

Vicente Forde, 32, wore a hi-vis jacket and carried an empty Amazon parcel as a disguise when he arrived at the south London home of victim Rashid Ben-Mhamedi.

Doorbell camera footage captured the moment Forde pulled out the sawn-off shotgun and rushed at the front door, only to be forced backwards by the startled Mr Ben-Mhamedi.

In a violent struggle, the gun was thrown under a nearby parked car and builders who were working nearby helped to restrain Forde, Croydon crown court heard.

“This is an extremely serious case”, said Recorder James Lewis QC, sentencing Forde to six years and nine months in prison. 

“The sawn-off shotgun was loaded and the right barrel was cocked - the gun did not go off when you pointed it at the victim or during the struggle, but had it done so it’s quite possible you would be facing a murder charge.”

The incident happened on July 13 last year, when Mr Ben-Mhamedi was at home in East Dulwich with his seven-year-old daughter just before 10am.

Vicente Forde (MPS)
Vicente Forde (MPS)

“This was an attack on an innocent householder by the defendant, armed with a sawn-off shotgun loaded with two live cartridges, cocked, and ready to fire”, said prosecutor David Hughes.

“The doorbell rang and Mr Ben-Mhamedi went to open the door. He was confronted with the defendant, wearing a hi-vis jacket and appearing to be a delivery driver.

“The defendant immediately charged towards Mr Ben-Mhamedi with a shotgun in his hand.”

The victim was punched repeatedly in the face by Forde in the ensuing struggle, which spilled out on to the pavement, as Mr Ben-Mhamedi “managed to prise the shotgun from the defendant’s grip and threw it under a car parked in the road.

“Mr Ben-Mhamedi got a chokehold on the defendant and was assisted by builders working in the area”, said Mr Hughes.

Phone evidence shows that Forde, from Greenwich, carried out surveillance on the victim’s home in the week before the incident. After his arrest, he claimed to have gone to the house to “send a message” and falsely suggested Mr Ben-Mhamedi had come at him with a gun.

In a letter to the court, Forde wrote: “Sorry for the pain I cause the victim. I know what I have done was very wrong.”

He added: “I feel sick to my stomach when I think about what I did to my victims.”

His barrister Matthew Bagnall said the attack was “amateurish” and Forde was acting under the orders of a drugs gang.

“He is not a hardened hitman of any sort”, he said.

“He is someone who fell into the clutches – through his own actions – and debt of those that deal in class A drugs.

“By a combination of reducing that debt and to a certain extent pressure by threats towards his family, he found himself committing these offences.”

Forde was due to stand trial in January but the case was delayed by an outbreak of Covid-19 at the court. He ultimately pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence, possession of a prohibited weapon and possession of a firearm by a person prohibited.

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