Amir Khan ‘feared he would die and leave his children without their dad’ during armed watch robbery
Former world boxing champion Amir Khan saw his life “flash before his eyes” during the gunpoint robbery of his luxury watch.
The 2004 Olympic silver medallist was targeted as he and his wife, Faryal Makhdoom, 31, left the Sahara Grill restaurant in Leyton, east London, on April 18 last year.
The 36-year-old was forced to hand over the bespoke, rose gold, diamond-encrusted Franck Muller timepiece – reportedly worth £72,000. It has never been recovered.
Following a trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court, the Bolton-born boxer opened up about the ordeal in an interview with The Sun on Sunday.
He told the newspaper: “In that moment, you think the worst … that the kids could be growing up without their dad, that Faryal would be raising them on her own.
“Your life flashes before your eyes. I leant my head to the right because I thought, if he is going to shoot me, he can shoot the side of my head. I don’t want to see the bullet coming.”
Mr Khan said he had been shopping in the Knightsbridge area while his influencer wife was taking part a photo shoot.
The couple then ate dinner with his friend Omar Khalid, breaking the Ramadan fast. The robbery lasted just seconds and happened after they left the restaurant.
‘I could see down the barrel’
Mr Khan, who has been confirmed for the upcoming I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! all-stars ITV series in South Africa, told the Sun on Sunday: “It was the first time I’ve ever seen a gun in my life. I could see down the barrel.
His wife, he said, ran screaming into the road.
She told the paper she “thought we were going to die on the spot”.
Gunman Campbell, of Hornsey, and getaway driver Ahmed Bana, 25, of Tottenham, both in north London, admitted conspiracy to commit robbery and possession of an imitation firearm during the trial and will be sentenced at a later date.
On Friday, Ismail Mohamed, 24, of Edmonton, and Nurul Amin, 25, of Harringay, both in north London, were unanimously acquitted by a jury of conspiracy to rob Mr Khan.
Prosecutors had claimed Mohamed and Amin acted as “spotters”, dining in the restaurant to keep track of Mr Khan’s movements and relay them by phone to Bana.
‘It’s only a watch’
Mr Khan said people told him he should have put up a fight for the watch.
“Are they stupid?” he said. “I’ve got a family. It’s only a watch. My life means more to me.
“When you have kids, you have a priority to make sure they are looked after. I am the breadwinner for the family. If I was with the kids, I don’t know what I would’ve done. Maybe I would have panicked and tried to run.”
The couple said the incident forced them to get their affairs in order, sorting out wills and setting up a trust for their children.
It has also led them to base their family in Dubai, because they no longer feel safe in the UK.
Mr Khan, who returns to the country one week a month, pays £600 a day for security.
“I love England,” he said. “I won a medal for the country but I stay in Dubai now because it’s the only place I feel safe. I’ve had my career, won my fights, got money. I just want to be safe.”
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