A MAN who denied taking part in an armed raid on a bookies has been found guilty – after he made a note about it in his diary.
Jonathan Ochola helped his friend Rashad Delawala steal hundreds of pounds from Ladbrokes in Albert Road, Southsea.
But while Delawala admitted wearing a balaclava and threatening staff with an imitation firearm, Ochola told police he had been at home in Essex watching football with his brother at the time.
In fact he was the getaway driver and the pair had split the £500.
Police traced the students-turned-robbers after Delawala dropped the balaclava with his DNA on it.
When they looked at Ochola’s diary they found an entry on the date of the raid in June last year that read: ‘Go Portsmouth robbery happens.’
Detective Constable Mel Sinclair, who led the investigation, said: ‘When we found the diary we thought it was quite unusual. You don’t normally get a good piece of evidence like that.
‘But he was foolish enough to put it in his diary and he said in his interview that it was stupid.’
Faced with the damning evidence Ochola, 21, tried to blame it all on his friend.
He told a jury at Portsmouth Crown Court that the two of them had set off from Essex to go clubbing in Bournemouth, where Delawala had been a student, but got lost and ended up in Southsea.
He claimed that he had gone into the Co-op in Albert Road to buy some cigarettes and sweets and when he got back to his car Delawala had gone to carry out the raid.
After his arrest Ochola admitted to police that during the drive from London Delawala had spoken about robbing a bookies but he insisted he did not take him seriously.
But the jury of seven men and six women rejected Ochola’s story that he did not know what was going on.
They took just 40 minutes to find him guilty of robbery.
Det Con Sinclair said: ‘These two have shown absolutely no remorse, they didn’t care about the affect on their victims.
‘The staff in the shop thought it was a real gun and they were shaken up.
‘Things like that don’t happen very often in Portsmouth so it was frightening for the staff and for people in the city who heard about it.’
Delawala, 21, of Canterbury Avenue, Ilford, Essex, pleaded guilty to robbery. He is due to be sentenced, alongside Ochola, of Cambeys Road, Dagenham, Essex, later this month.
Both men are on bail until then.