The alleged leader of Tamil gang the Jaffna Boys has been jailed for intimidating a witness.

Edward Armstrong-Anton of Broadstairs, Kent, was jailed for 30 months at Croydon Crown Court after a jury took just hours to convict him of the charge.

The 37-year-old slapped and headbutted Wakeezan Manivasakam and his brother in his shop, the Phoomi supermarket, in London Road.

Jurors were told the brothers were assaulted because Mr Manivasakam was acting as a witness, in a case involving members of the Croydon gang.

Jonathan Edwards, prosecuting, told the court Mr Armstrong-Anton said he was the “king of London Road” and would chop off Mr Manivasakam’s penis and kill his family if he helped police, during the incident on August 21 last year.

Croydon Crown Court heard Mr Manivasakam fell victim to members of the Jaffna Boys gang on July 22, which resulted in six men, including Shamoor Miah, being charged with public order offences.

On August 14, Miah revisited Mr Manivasakam at his store to try to prevent him from testifying in the resulting court case.

Miah later pleaded guilty to intimidating Mr Manivasakam.

Jurors were told Armstrong-Anton went to the store on August 21, because of his affiliation with the Jaffna Boys and to tell Mr Manivasakam to stop talking to the police.

The court heard he was the leader of the Tamil gang, which Armstrong-Anton denied.

He had denied one count of intimidation, but had previously pleaded guilty to two counts of assault.

He was sentenced to 30 months’ inprisonment for witness intimdation and six months each for two counts of assault, to run concurrently.

Detective Constable Ashley Guest, of Croydon police, said: “Armstrong-Anton thought he could intimidate and bully these men. The two men did the right thing in calling police and Armstrong-Anton is now facing time in jail.

“I hope this sends out a message to those who think they can exert influence by violence over others that you will be caught and you will be jailed.”