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Driver, 81, denies he helped ‘county lines dealer’ flee stabbing

‘Lonely’: Ian
Hemmens said
he picked Sami
up ‘to have
someone to
chat to’
PICTURE: STEVE PARSONS/ PA

AN 81-year-old has denied being the getaway driver for a suspected drug dealer accused of stabbing a rival, telling a court he only gave the suspect a lift out of loneliness.

Ian Hemmens is accused of helping Mahamud Sami evade arrest and prosecution after the alleged county lines dealer is said to have chased Dimitrijs Semelis down Bognor Regis seafront before stabbing him.

Hemmens, a retired burger van worker, told jurors he had driven to Bognor out of ‘boredom’ and spotted two men, Sami and Akeem Adebayo, 23, by the side of the road and decided to offer them a lift.

‘They were just stood there looking maybe for someone to pick them up. I thought maybe I will have someone to chat to for ten minutes,’ he told Portsmouth crown court.

Hemmens told the court he did not pick the two men up from an address in Chichester and did not take any money for driving them, and denied having an arrangement to act as a driver for Sami.

The prosecution alleges Adebayo and Sami had chased after Mr Semelis in a ‘dispute over the supply of drugs’ before Sami stabbed him five or six times while Adebayo held him down.

Hemmens, of Chichester, denies one charge of assisting an offender.

Adebayo denies wounding with intent to cause GBH and two charges of possessing cocaine and heroin with intent to supply.

The trial continues.