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Teen moped gang from Islington who stole 100 phones jailed for 13 years

PUBLISHED: 17:13 11 October 2017 | UPDATED: 17:41 11 October 2017

Islington moped offenders in action earlier this year. Picture: CPS

Islington moped offenders in action earlier this year. Picture: CPS

Archant

A moped gang from Islington who snatched 100 phones in five days have been jailed for a total of 13 years.

Claude Parkinson, 18, of Thornhill Square, Barnsbury, and two teens who cannot be named, pounced on pedestrians in Islington, Camden, Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster.

Riding around wielding hammers and a tyre lever, they at one point smashed the windscreen of a car that chased them.

All three pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rob and at Southwark Crown Court today Parkinson was locked up for five years and three months. The two teens, aged 15 and 16, were each jailed for four years and two months,

The attacks in April and May were part of a wider crime-wave that at one point was resulting in 100 offences a week in Westminster alone.

Claude Parkinson. Picture: Met PoliceClaude Parkinson. Picture: Met Police

Parkinson rode the lead moped on all five days while the two other teenagers admitted to being involved in 42 offences each.

A pillion passenger, caught on camera brandishing a hammer, has yet to be identified.

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”, Chowdhury had advertised that he was willing to pay money for mobile telephones and had been in regular contact with the gang.

The gang were spotted by a photographer who caught them in action. One boy was seen riding his moped a bit like a horse. Picture: Met PoliceThe gang were spotted by a photographer who caught them in action. One boy was seen riding his moped a bit like a horse. Picture: Met Police

When his home in Bethnal Green was raided police found 35 phones, several laptops and other stolen items.

His accounts showed that in April and May he sold 327 items for £52,150, which will now be seized.

Det Supt Jess Ruddell of Westminster Police said: “Police are working hard to keep the public safe and make the streets hostile territory for criminals who steal scooters, mopeds, motorbikes and use them to commit other crimes.

“These suspects have been responsible for a huge number of crimes in London and have put members of the public in danger.”

The gang were spotted by a photographer who caught them in action. Picture: Met PoliceThe gang were spotted by a photographer who caught them in action. Picture: Met Police

Andrew Caird, CPS reviewing lawyer, added: “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.”

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