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London moped gang jailed

11/10/2017

Members of a moped robbery gang who snatched in excess of 100 mobile phones from people on the streets of London in a string of attacks over the space of five days have been jailed today (11 October) for a total of more than 13 years at Southwark Crown Court.

Claude Parkinson, 18, was sentenced to five years and three months. Two other teenagers, aged 15 and 16, were jailed for four years and two months each after they admitted conspiracy to rob between 18 April 2017 and 5 May 2017.

The gang masked their appearance with crash helmets and motorcycle clothing and, riding on two motorbikes, pounced on members of the public in Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea, Islington and Camden, often driving at speed up on to pavements to steal the phones. On several occasions they used violence, wielding a tyre lever and a hammer, at one point using it to smash the window of a car which pursued them.

Parkinson rode the lead moped on all five days while the two other teenagers took part in excess of 40 robberies on two of them. A pillion passenger who brandished a hammer was photographed on Parkinson's moped but has yet to be identified.

They were part of a wider crime wave of more than 100 such offences a week at one point in Westminster alone.

A fourth man Samsul Chowdhury, 40, who also admitted being part of the conspiracy to rob, admitted a further charge of handling stolen goods at an earlier hearing. He was jailed for four years and 10 months today.

Known as 'Boss' he had advertised that he was willing to pay money for mobile telephones and had been in regular contact with the gang.

When his home was raided police found 35 phones, several laptops and other items stolen from two residential burglaries.

His detailed accounts showed between 5 April and 17 May this year he sold on 327 items for a total of £52,150.

Proceeds of crime applications will now take place to investigate and seize the profits Chowdhury made.

Andrew Caird from the CPS said: "These young men preyed on a huge number of members of the public on the streets of London over a series of days, using violence or threats on some occasions.

"Their victims were in many cases extremely traumatised by the robberies, and on at least one occasion a victim was very nearly hit by the mopeds.

"One witness described them whooping with joy as they made a snatch. However photos of the gang taken on 4 May by a photographer with a long lens captured such detail of Parkinson's distinctive eyes, fingers and jacket, that he was identified.

"This along with mobile phone message data, clothing comparisons, and eyewitness accounts led to the guilty pleas and today's prison sentences.

"Londoners should be able to go about their daily lives without being targeted on the streets in this way."

Ends

Notes to Editors

  1. Andrew Caird is a Senior Crown Prosecutor in CPS London South
  2. Claude Parkinson [DOB 06/09/1999] lived in Thornhill Square, Islington

  3. Samsul Chowdhury [DOB 02/06/1977] lived in Usk Street, E2

  4. The two other teenagers were both from Islington

  5. For the latest in breaking news from the CPS Press Office follow @cpsuk on Twitter and visit our official News Brief - blog.cps.gov.uk

  6. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906. Out of Hours - 07590 617233