Five violent robbers jailed for a combined 43 years


Teenagers targeted men returning from work, stealing items including mobile phones, while inflicting serious injuries on them 

A gang of five youngsters have been jailed for over 43 years after being found guilty of a number of violent robberies that left their victims with serious injuries.

Yusuf Akram, 18, (06.09.97) of Sewell Street, Plaistow was sentenced to eight years imprisonment and also received an additional one-day imprisonment and £1,000 fine for being in possession of an offensive weapon at the time of his arrest.

Usamah Aftab, 18, (08.08.97) of Lucas Avenue, Plaistow, E13 0RL received 10 years, Hamzah Jawyd, 17, (21.07.98) eight years, Mohamed Ibrahim Ali, 18, (09.10.97) of Whyteville House, Forest Gate nine years and Thamid Zahman, 17, (18.11.98) eight years.

In addition, the judge deemed Akram, Aftab, Jawyd and Zahman as dangerous offenders and sentenced them to extended sentences of two years each, meaning they will be subject to further restrictions in addition to their custodial sentence.

A sixth male, Mohamed Yusuf Miah, 20 (31.07.95) of East Handsworth, Birmingham will stand before a Newton Hearing that is scheduled to be held in April to determine if he is fit to stand trial.

The court heard the group of six carried out the eight robberies in east London between March 7-11, with seven in Newham and one in Tower Hamlets, which saw them targeting lone men at night, striking their victims on the back of the head without warning with a baseball bat and repeatedly kicking and punching whilst robberies.

Serious injuries

Such was the violence than in five of the robberies, the victims sustained serious injuries including fractures to the skull, and/or facial bones, bleeding within the skull cavity and on the brain and, in one instance, a fractured neck.

In one incident on March 11, a 36-year-old man was attacked by three of the convicted men, stealing just two mobile phones, keys and a wallet containing just £15.

The victim sustained fractures to the skull and facial bones, as well as bleeding between the outer and middle layers of the protection around the brain. He spent four weeks in hospital and remains unwell.

Just 40 minutes later, they fractured the neck of another victim by knocking him unconscious, stealing his mobile phone, cash card, an amount of cash and Oyster Card. He was treated in hospital for extensive skull and facial fractures, as well as the fractured neck.

‘Could have killed someone’

Detective Chief Inspector Jamie Piscopo of the Homicide and Major Crime Command, said: “These were serious acts of violence and a clear example of a gang going on the rampage. I honestly believe they would have continued and eventually killed someone if they had not been apprehended. One victim pretended to be dead in a desperate attempt to get the gang to cease their unrelenting attack.

“The gang were calculated and brutal in their planning, using a car to drop off members of the group to inflict terrifyingly violent robberies before moving on to a new patch. I would like to praise the bravery of the witnesses who came forward and helped investigators piece together the actions and movements of these disgracefully dangerous individuals.

“The custodial sentences handed down today have removed five very dangerous individuals from society.”