A young Carshalton couple who robbed a man at gunpoint near Banstead station have been jailed for seven years each.

Benjamin Bateman, 20, and Alana Kuti, 19, both of Wrythe Lane, approached the victim on a bridle path parallel to the station at 7.30 on May 16 2018, before threatening him with an imitation firearm and demanding his phone and wallet.

The victim still suffers flashbacks as a result of the "terrifying and distressing ordeal," according to police.

The pair then used a card to withdraw money from a nearby cash machine, before ordering a taxi to Mitcham.

Officers discovered the phone number that made the call to the taxi company and were able to piece together their movements, identifying Kuti as a suspect.

The pair attempted to sell the phone the following day, but it had already flagged as stolen.

Kuti was arrested on a separate matter by the Met on May 23, which then flagged her wanted status, allowing officers to question her about her involvement in the previous case before charging her with robbery, possession of an imitation firearm.

Investigating officers searched Kuti's property which led them to suspect Bateman had been with her at the time.

Bateman attended her remand hearing on May 26, giving officers the opportunity to move quickly to arrest him.

Police searched his belongings, finding further items linking him to the robbery. He was charged with the same offences as his partner.

Detective Sergeant Leigh Wall, who was investigating the case, said: “The fact that Kuti and Bateman have been sent to prison for seven years reflects the seriousness of the robbery, which saw them lie in wait for the victim and then rob him at gunpoint.

"This was a terrifying and distressing ordeal for the victim, who still suffers flashbacks as a result.

“I would like to commend him for his bravery in giving evidence in court and for having to relive the ordeal all over again.

“The sentence handed out today is a result of a lengthy and thorough investigation, which involved numerous enquiries, including hours spent looking at CCTV and analysis of mobile phone data.

"However, we were determined to ensure Kuti and Bateman were brought to justice and our hard work has definitely paid off.”