A self proclaimed 'role model' who ran a clothing line popular with urban music stars has been jailed for 11 years for a series of armed robberies in south London.

Ismail Farouk Abbas, 26, of Danbrook Road, liked to pose with his celebrity clients and promoted himself as a credible businessman and a role model to young people.

But on Monday at the Inner London Crown Court he was put behind bars for orchestrating armed robberies in Streatham and Peckham- stealing tens of thousands of pounds.

The court heard Abbas led an armed attack on a transit van outside the Texaco garage in Streatham Road on July 28, 2010.

His gang hit security guards with hammers and stole £25,000 in cash.

Just a few weeks before, he staged a similar attack at the T Mobile store in Rye Lane, Peckham. He and his fellow gang members threatened staff with imitation guns, stealing £4,500 cash and 72 Blackberry mobiles.

Abbas, who claimed that he wanted to set up his own youth foundation to 'give back to the community', tried to affiliate himself in court with Premiership footballer Rio Ferdinand and his charity Live the Dream, but a spokesman for the charity said they had never heard of him.

He was handed sentences of five and six years for two counts of robbery and possession of an imitation firearm, to run consecutively.

He was acquitted of two further counts of conspiracy to commit robbery on transit vans carrying cash in Kensington and Woolworth in August 2010.

Senior Investigating officer, Detective Inspector Lee Hill said Abbas "used his boasts to recruit others to do his dirty work."

He said: "We know that Abbas portrayed himself as a role model - for instance, he talked in a magazine interview about wanting to set up his own youth organisation. He also claimed during the trial that he worked with the Rio Ferdinand Live the Dream Foundation.

"Essentially it boiled down to the fact that he went to a black tie dinner and offered to make ten exclusive branded t-shirts for the foundation free of charge. When we contacted Live the Dream, they had never heard of him.

"The reality was, Abbas was a criminal who used his boasts to recruit others to do his dirty work, whilst he stood back and watched it all play out."