Moped robbery gang jailed after 100-victim crime spree

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Media captionGeorge Osborne was one of the gang's 103 victims

A moped gang that robbed more than 100 people, including an attempted robbery on former chancellor George Osborne, has been jailed.

Claude Parkinson, 18, and two boys aged 16 and 15, carried out the robberies over a five-day spree that "spiralled out of control".

All three had previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery.

A fourth unknown member used a hammer to intimidate victims in Camden, Westminster, Islington and Chelsea.

The gang were sentenced at Southwark Crown Court.

After they were arrested in May, police reported a 40% drop in moped-related robberies in Westminster.

Image copyright Metropolitan Police
Image caption Shamsul Chowdhury, 40, and Claude Parkinson, 18, were both jailed for their part in the spree

The gang rode the streets of London snatching items of value out of victims' hands before driving away.

Mr Osborne was one of an estimated 103 victims of the gang when an attempt was made to snatch his mobile phone outside the BBC in May.

In a victim impact statement previously read out to the court, Mr Osborne said he had felt "shocked and stunned" after the attempted robbery.

CCTV footage from near Broadcasting House showed a passenger on the moped trying to grab the phone out of his hand, before fleeing empty-handed.

'Threaten violence'

In sentencing, Judge David Tomlinson said: "With or without weapons, throughout this course of conduct there was a risk to the safety and wellbeing of members of our community.

"Your willingness to use weapons to threaten violence showed that your offending had spiralled out of control."

The gang was paid £55 to £200 for the stolen handsets, the court heard.

A fifth member of the gang Shamsul Chowdhury, 40, of Bethnal Green, would traffic the phones to Bangladesh.

Chowdhury was sentenced to four years and 10 months after admitting handling stolen goods.

Parkinson, from Islington, was sentenced to five years and three months for robbery.

The 16 and 15-year-olds - who cannot be named for legal reasons - were both jailed for four years and two months.

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