Newham train robbers jailed

Boy, 14, abuses judge as he is sentenced for muggings

A 14-year-old boy dubbed a “one man crime business”’ grinned as he was jailed for four years for a campaign of muggings targeting rail commuters with iPhones.

The lad, who has previous convictions for a string of robberies, had been out on licence for just 43 days before he began his latest crime rampage across east London.

The thug, who is now 15 and cannot be named, snatched victims’ iPhones while sidekick Saffron Bradshaw, 20, acted as a look out, holding the train doors open to ensure their escape. The Newham boy snatched Laura Jones’ mobile on April 14 this year after shoving her against the side of a train, while another unknown accomplice pushed her in the stomach.

In a victim impact statement, Ms Jones told how she was now afraid to travel by train by herself, adding: “I felt very threatened and scared.”

Judge Louise Kamill ruled the boy was a danger to the public and sentenced him to four years in a young offending institute, but refused to lift an order protecting his identity. Describing him as a “one-man crime business”, Judge Kamill added: “Were you an adult with this background I would have imposed a sentence of six years.”

Locking up Bradshaw for three years in a young offender’s institute, Judge Kamill said: “Rather alarmingly, you spoke at length about how victims should not have been using their phones in public, that they should have been more alert to their surroundings. Indeed, you appeared to normalise the robberies as an everyday occurrence.”

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“The sadness in your case is you have no background of committing such offences and you have allowed yourself to become involved in extremely serious offences.”

“You both relied on quickness and surprise and the fact that people were distracted by looking at their phones.”

As the sentence was passed, both teenagers smiled and waved to their friends in the public gallery, one of whom shouted “f**k the judge” as they left the court.

Snaresbrook Crown Court heard how the 15-year-old boy had threatened to stab Praveen Panduragan with a 15cm knife after he boarded a train at Romford railway station on March 26.

But the teenager was forced to flee after Mr Panduragan courageously grabbed hold of the knife and shouted for help, before trying to take pictures of his attacker on his phone.

Both Bradshaw and the boy also tried to rob mini cab driver Abdul Qadir of his IPhone at his taxi office in Manor Park station.

“All of a sudden, the boy jumped on Mr Qadir and tried to grab the phone from his hand,” said prosecutor Babatunde Alabi.

“The phone dropped to the ground and Mr Qadir bent down to retrieve it.”

“As he did, the boy punched him on the right side of the face. His glasses fell to the ground and smashed.”

Mr Qadir kept a firm grip on his phone before passing it to the cab controller behind a screen.

Bradshaw, who was holding the door open, and the boy ran out, but brazenly stood outside the office laughing.

“It seems they were targeting people that were carrying that particular brand of mobile phone,” Mr Babatunde Alabi added.

Matthew Dance, for the 15 year old, said he had endured a problematic upbringing and the robberies “boiled down to financial gain.”

Ian McLarty, defending Bradshaw, added: “He has behaved incredibly stupidly and these offences are out of character.”

Bradshaw, of Sixth Avenue, Manor Park, admitted three counts of robbery and one count of attempted robbery.

The 15-year-old admitted four counts of robbery and two counts of attempted robbery.

Two counts of robbery and a charge of conspiracy to rob against the pair, together with a further count of robbery and one of attempted robbery against Bradshaw, were left on the court file.