Holloway mugger of BBC man is jailed for four years

17:32 10 September 2012

Jailed: Jason Harewood

Jailed: Jason Harewood


A masked teenager who mugged a BBC news correspondent at knifepoint yards from his front door has been locked up for four years.

Tom Symonds, 42, a home affairs correspondent, was approached by 19-year-old Jason Harewood from Holloway as he made his way home at 10.40pm on March 15 this year.

He later wrote an article on the experience, saying he “did the right thing” and handed over his phone and wallet, “desperately trying not to raise the temperature of the encounter” in Muswell Hill.

Knife-wielding Harewood, of Andover Road, left Mr Symonds frozen outside his front door by telling him not to call police because he had “got a mate watching where you live”.

After weighing up the dangers to his wife and children for 30 seconds and deciding “he had to be bluffing”, Mr Symonds dialled 999.

Within minutes Haringey’s specialist plain clothes Q-Cars robbery squad arrived and drove Mr Symonds around looking for Harewood.

By coincidence the squad had received an iPad that day to help them find stolen phones installed with tracking devices, which led them straight to Harewood in Holloway.

He fled and threw the phone away, but was caught on a garage roof.

The phone was found nearby and, despite claiming he wasn’t in Muswell Hill at the time, Harewood’s Oyster card and bus CCTV proved he had been there moments before.

He pleaded guilty before the trial began and last Friday was sentenced at Wood Green Crown Court to four years’ detention in a young offenders institution for robbery.

Thanking Mr Symonds for helping them “do what we like to do best” by installing and using a tracker app on his phone, Det Con John Martin, investigating officer of Haringey CID, said: “I am pleased that [Harewood] will not be walking the streets for a significant period of time.”

The self-employed teenager had only been released on licence a couple of weeks before the robbery. He had served half of a two-year sentence for another knifepoint robbery that was also in Muswell Hill, he added.

Latest News Stories

Queen Elizabeth II on a tour of the City and Islington College in 2012.

Jeremy Corbyn has declined an invitation to be sworn in to the Privy Council amid continued uncertainty over whether he will declare allegiance in person to the Queen.

Arsenal Stadium management have recently put up anti-skating signs and anti-skating devices on the steps outside the stadium on the North Bank Terrace to stop skaters skating over the memorial plaques there.

A mother has hit out at Arsenal Football Club after skateboarders were stopped from using steps with personalised memorial plaques at Emirates Stadium.

The man whose body was recovered from the Regent’s Canal has been named as Sebastiano Magnanini

Two men have been arrested in connection with the suspected murder of a man in Islington, whose body was recovered from the Regent’s Canal in September.

Pride of Britain Winner   SOHANA Collins and sisters with Sam Cameron ,  and at the Downing Street 


In many ways, Sohana Collins is just like any other 13-year-old: she goes to school, she’s obsessed with Harry Potter and enjoys playing with her family’s puppy.

The report called for investment into the prison, on Caledonian Road

An Islington prison is in “urgent need” of investment after a new report shed light on drug-fuelled violence.

An artist's impression of how Archway town centre will look once the scheme is finished. But some are unimpressed by the Archway Road bus route plans

A main road may have to cope with another 50 buses per hour as part of plans to remove the Archway gyratory.

Yesterday, 15:25
Cllr Joe Calouri

More foster carers are urgently needed to help with unaccompanied asylum seeker children, Islington Council has said.

Yesterday, 13:05
CCTV footage of the raid at Windsor Bishop jewellers in Norwich carried out by Islington smash and grab raiders Alfredo Rojasvagras, Bradley McMillan,  Mark Moloney and Dillon Zambon with two other associates. Picture: PRESS ASSOCIATION

Islington’s smash and grab shame was thrown back into the spotlight this week, after three men – and one boy – from the borough were jailed for a combined 20 years for a jewellery shop robbery.

Most read news


You'll be stocked up on toiletries  for a while!

Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more.

You could be splashing the cash at Topshop!

Just imagine what you could do with £1,000 to spend at Topshop.

Digital Edition

Read the Islington Gazette e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder