London

Neighbourhood watch pair jailed over false robbery accusations

Alves and Sher Image copyright Metropolitan Police
Image caption Thiago Alves Vieira (left) and Michael Scher admitted perverting the course of justice

Two men have been convicted of falsely accusing two teenagers of robbery in north London.

Community neighbourhood watch group Shomrim Stamford Hill called police claiming the youths had tried to steal a moped from delivery driver Thiago Alves Vieira last July.

However, CCTV disproved the story.

Vieira, 38, from Edmonton, was jailed for eight months while Michael Scher, 32, was jailed for five months, suspended for two years.

Both had previously pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice.

Wood Green Crown Court heard how police received a number of calls stating that two juveniles had been detained for robbery by the group on 3 July.

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Media captionCCTV disproves robbery accusation

On arrival officers were told the pair, aged 13 and 15, had surrounded Vieira, demanded his moped keys and pushed him.

Vieira, along with Scher, of Amhurst Park, and Yaakov Nowogrodski, who were also members of Shomrim, made sworn statements to support this version of events.

However, this was proven to be a "deliberate criminal conspiracy," police said.

'Disgraceful'

Officers later located CCTV that showed the boys had not gone near Vieira.

Det Sgt James Leeks, of the Metropolitan Police, said: "Why these men decided to fabricate this case may never be explained. However, abusing the criminal justice system in such an underhand manner is disgraceful."

Nowogrodski, 27, was found to have fled the country after he was charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and false imprisonment. A warrant for his arrest has been issued.

Rabbi Herschel Gluck, president of Stamford Hill Shomrim, said: "The Shomrim members involved in this incident were immediately suspended as soon as we were made aware of these serious allegations.

"Their behaviour fell way below the standards expected from any of our volunteers and was a serious aberration."

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