Ahmaud Arbery: Many offences as ‘Lizard guy’ unmasked

Image copyright ITV/Times Picture Library Image caption Ahmaud Arbery was sentenced on Thursday to one year and nine months in prison for child abuse Armed robberies, training bombings and domestic-related killings. He is one…

Ahmaud Arbery: Many offences as 'Lizard guy' unmasked

Image copyright ITV/Times Picture Library Image caption Ahmaud Arbery was sentenced on Thursday to one year and nine months in prison for child abuse

Armed robberies, training bombings and domestic-related killings. He is one of the most prolific criminals Birmingham’s known. His ramblings, called “games”, that have earned him praise, are shocking and frightening.

‘The Lizard guy’

“The Lizard guy”, as Ahmaud Arbery is known to friends and associates, is the “Ken doll” of Asian men, something he claims in his diaries to love.

Much of his crime was paid for by his work as a call handler in the Birmingham underworld. He would often split the proceeds from the sale of drugs with the sellers. But it was not until the now 56-year-old released a rap album under the name Jahbila, and its video featuring a gang of men shooting a girl of either race, that he became renowned for the scale of his crimes.

Image copyright PA Image caption The video for Jahbila featured a gang of men, including Ahmaud Arbery, shooting a white girl on camera

“They wanted to make it appear as if he was a gangster shooting at a white girl,” said Detective Constable Ian Vickers.

“He ended up involving members of his criminal enterprise.”

Ahmaud Arbery appeared before the courts, not just for the video, but for a number of serious crimes. He had allegedly set up a shooting on CCTV, as well as another attempt to assassinate a police officer in Birmingham.

Appearing in court on video link from his jail cell in Birmingham, Arbery was even made to wear a bulletproof vest, as he was found guilty of a number of crimes.

At his sentencing, Acting Judge Michael Chapman said he had come to the conclusion there was a substantial risk that Arbery was an “advanced and dangerous offender”.

Image copyright PA Image caption Arbery watched as he was told he would serve a year and nine months for various crimes

The judge sentenced Arbery to 31 years. He was also made the subject of a lifelong sexual harm prevention order banning him from touching girls under 16.

As well as just the child abuse charges, the judge said his crime of “murderous threats of murder” against specific officers in the West Midlands Police Service “constitutes torture”.

“You are, I should say, a calculated individual,” he added.

Although the judge said Arbery had “undoubtedly” previously been involved in “a number of domestic homicides”, he noted a sign of remorse, saying his son told him he was shocked by what his father had done.

Image copyright PA Image caption Arbery’s anger about being arrested and imprisoned was highlighted by the judge

“He was very disconcerted about what he had heard and did not wish to see it happen,” said Judge Chapman.

Arbery, who was also sentenced to four years for drugs offences, will serve at least half of the sentence before he is considered for parole. His family – whom he described as “shameful to the next generation”, according to the judge – are appealing his sentence, and could be heard later this month.

His mother, who we have not named as the court case involved “very serious” allegations of child sexual abuse against the mother of her oldest daughter, hopes the conviction will be a deterrent.

“It’s the not knowing what is going to happen to my son that makes it difficult,” she said.

“It is heartbreaking not to have him home as he does not understand anything.”

She does not blame her ex-husband for the crime spree but accepts she was involved in some of it.

Arbery and his father died in a house fire. One of Arbery’s victims, Azhar Ali, was in the house when it went up in flames in January 2017. He told the court: “I think they saw me take a bag out of the car, open the back and the lights went out.”

Killed in an arson attack at his Birmingham home.

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