Monday, 30 November 2009

Sex Predator Pounces Outside 02 Arena

A predatory rapist, who targeted his young white victim amongst crowds of people leaving the landmark O2 Arena, was caged for six years after leading his terrified victim to nearby waste ground and attacking her.

Kwaku Acheampong, 26, of Burrage Road, Plumstead, was captured on CCTV prowling the huge venue’s main exit in search of a woman to rape.

He pleaded guilty at Woolwich Crown Court to raping the 21 year-old woman in the early hours of April 26 near North Greenwich Underground Station.

An investigation was launched by Greenwich Sapphire Unit – which specializes in sex crime – and Acheampong was arrested on May 6, with forensic evidence proving he was the rapist.

Detective Constable James Coldham of Greenwich Sapphire Unit said: "This was a very calculated offence.

“Acheampong was a predatory rapist. I have no doubt that he planned to arrive at closing time when he knew there would be lots of women leaving the venue.

"He waited until he spotted a victim, someone on her own who was trying to contact her friends.

“The CCTV footage completely disproved Acheampong's account of events. On the footage, we can see him arriving and hanging around, looking for a woman on her own.

Initially Acheampong said he went to a party inside the 02 and met the victim there and she consented to a sexual encounter.

"However, thanks to CCTV footage taken from outside the venue and from buses, officers were able to trace every move from the time he arrived at the venue to his return home.

“When he realised the evidence against him, Acheampong changed his plea to guilty. 

"There may be other women who have not yet found the courage to contact police to report similar offences. I would encourage them to come to police and reassure them that they will receive full support from dedicated Sapphire officers."

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Pub Killers: Like Father Like Son

A father and son from hell, who stabbed to death a regular at their local pub, leaving a knife embedded in the victim’s chest two weeks after a copycat attack in another bar have been sentenced to life imprisonment.

Jason Michael, 39, and Harry Farrant, 14, of Hewetts Quay, Barking, Essex, terrorized the Victoria Pub, Axe Street and Captain Cook Pub, Broadway.

After a three-week Old Bailey trial they were convicted of murdering 45 year-old amateur boxer Daniel Leahy on April 13 at the Victoria Pub and inflicting grievous bodily harm on David Murphy, 49, who was stabbed in the back of the head.

Michael (pictured) was ordered to serve a minimum of 19 years and Farrant at least 14 years before either can be considered for parole.

Police were already investigating a similar knife attack on Lee Lumb, 29, son of the nearby Captain Cook Pub’s landlady, who was stabbed four times in the neck by the pair, and they were convicted of inflicting grievous bodily harm.

They were armed with a knife and bayonet at the Victoria Pub when they provoked a fight with Mr. Leahy, who punched Michael to the floor.

The father and son responded by attacking Mr. Leahy with their weapons, with Farrant striking the fatal blow. Mr. Leahy was later pronounced dead at the scene.

They had moved to the area from Notting Hill, West London, in late 2007 and became regulars at several Barking pubs.

On February 14 – Valentine’s Day – Michael was not in loving mood when he demanded to ‘have a word’ with Mr. Lumb, son of landlady Lita Roberts who he’d had an argument with.

A fight broke out and son Harry – captured on CCTV - joined in with both pulling knives and stabbing Mr. Lumb repeatedly.

Judge Brian Barker QC told Michael: “Your behaviour on these occasions was an unjustifiable example of recklessness and risk taking behaviour.

“It is the conclusion of the Probation Officer that you are a dangerous person.”

He told Farrant, who has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, “You show little remorse for your actions and attempt to justify you and your father's behaviour.”

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Knife Killer Faces Jail

A killer who plunged a knife into an acquaintance’s stomach was cleared of murder at the Old Bailey, but still faces jail for manslaughter when he returns for sentencing on December 23.

Homeless Andrew Winter, 37, killed 32 year-old Daniel Myrie at a residential address in Canada Gardens, Lewisham, during a row on December 3, last year.

The victim resided with his 52 year-old mother and brother Aaron at the address, but suffered the fatal injury at the hands of Winter – who was known to the family – and pronounced dead at Lewisham Hospital.

A post mortem at Greenwich Mortuary on December 4 at gave cause of death as a stab wounds to the abdomen.

Winter (pictured) was arrested on suspicion of murder after attending a local a police station and was rushed to King’s College Hospital, Camberwell, for treatment to a head injury.

Detective Inspector Dean Johnson, from the Metropolitan Police’s Homicide and Serious Crime command said: "This incident escalated into a violent attack and the tragic death of Daniel.

“Today's verdict will perhaps bring some long awaited peace to a family who have lost a son and a brother as the result of a row that sadly got out of control.

“We will continue to bring those who use violence to prosecution and today Andrew Winter has learnt what the consequences of his violent actions are."

Friday, 27 November 2009

Eastend Family Feud Frightens Commuters

Shocked early-morning commuters got caught up in a family feud, when an angry Plaistow man attacked his estranged stepfather with a bunch of keys, on the platform of West Ham Underground Station.

The 50 year-old victim was rushed to casualty with what were initially feared life-threatening puncture injuries to his neck and head after the chance meeting on the Jubilee Line platform (pictured).

Stevie Ryan, 29, of Victoria Road, pleaded guilty at Inner London Crown Court to wounding John Prior, causing him grievous bodily harm, on March 3.

Prosecutor Miss Rebecca Foulkes told the court a troubled family history left bad blood between the defendant and his step-dad, which spilled over when Ryan spotted him while traveling to work at Canary Wharf.

“As the train came into the platform Mr. Prior says he felt an ‘almighty thud’ to the side of his head and felt close to losing consciousness.

“There was some grappling and Ryan dropped a bunch of keys which he picked up and continued to lash out at Mr. Prior with the keys in his hand.

“Ryan continued to hit Mr. Prior who had blood coming out of his head and neck,” added Miss Foulkes, explaining startled commuters attempted to pull the pair apart.

The victim was rushed to the Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel. “His injuries were deemed life threatening.”

Doctors discovered a puncture wound to Mr. Prior’s neck and back, plus lacerations to the back of his head.

Ryan’s lawyer Mr. Jeremy Jones told the court: “Mr. Prior was a man he saw as his father and role model.

“This was a chance meeting and he could not resist the opportunity to inflict violence on Mr. Prior who he had not seen for four years.”

Sentencing Ryan to eight months imprisonment, suspended for a year, Judge Robert Fraser told him: “You were driven by considerable ill-feeling.

“You clearly lost control, put him in a headlock and punched him around the head. The majority of the wounds were caused by the keys that were in your fist.”

He also ordered Ryan to complete 240 hours unpaid community service work, remain under probation supervision for twelve months and obey a year-long prohibition order not to contact Mr. Prior.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Charity Boss Rips Off His Own

A Congo-born charity boss, who pocketed over £20,000 donated to black Sickle-Cell sufferers - while also claiming state handouts - has been locked up for 18 months.

Ngoy Bin Ngoy, 39, of Rowley Gardens, Finsbury Park, founder and chairman of the Sickle-Cell Advice Bureau (SCAB), ripped off the National Lottery, the Home Office and the Scarman Trust, plus other charitable institutions.

He pleaded guilty at Southwark Crown Court to stealing £22,249 from the charity, based in the Lea Valley Industrial Estate, Edmonton, between January 2003 and December 2004.

Instead of funds being paid into the ‘drop-in’ service for Sickle-Cell sufferers he claimed to run, Ngoy used the cash to supplement the benefits he was claiming.

He was arrested in March 2005 and later charged with a string of offences after an investigation by officers from the Economic and Specialist Crime Command.

"There can be no doubt that this is a case which attracts a custodial sentence,” Judge Peter Testar told Ngoy.

"It is important when money is obtained by way of grants for charitable purposes that the public has confidence that the money thereby obtained is not used dishonestly.

"These grants are of great public usefulness and in the right hands can alleviate much suffering."

DC Boydell-Smith said afterwards: "This individual cynically betrayed his position of trust by systematically stealing charitable funds raised in good faith by members of the public.

"Money that should have helped those in need was used instead to fund his own lifestyle.

“Today's sentence sends a strong message to those intent on defrauding charities that they will be unequivocally held to account for their actions."

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Glamour Girl's Cellphone Story

A wannabe model caught with two stolen mobile phones - snatched during a brutal mugging while the victim was traveling to meet her - dodged jail today, after claiming she was not part of a ‘set up.’

Londoner Annie Esen, 20, who was convicted of conspiracy to rob as a mere 13 year-old, and is now the mother of an 18 month-old son was given a six-month Community Order.

Esen (pictured) pleaded guilty at Inner London Crown Court to dishonestly receiving stolen goods, namely the phones between April 15 and 24, last year.

The prosecution accepted her claim that she did not know the phones were the proceeds of a robbery.

“These phones were taken during a pretty nasty robbery while the victim was on the way to see you to discuss the sale of mobile phones,” Judge Robert Fraser told Esen.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Race-Hate American's U.K. Nightmare Ends

A globetrotting Beverly Hills financial guru – in London for a consultancy contract – was arrested for a vicious race-hate attack on an Indian mobile phone shop worker and sentenced at the Old Bailey today (Tuesday).

Consultant Roger Robinson, 39, of Santa Monica Boulevard, Beverly Hills, had to be pulled off the victim by customers, after beating the victim to the floor while delivering a tirade of racist abuse.

A second consultancy position in Moscow, due to have begun this month, is in ruins after City of London Magistrates’ Court decision to remanded Robinson in custody to the highest criminal court in the land.

He spent over a week on remand at tough Wandsworth Prison - which also houses killers and rapists - before getting bail.

Robinson, staying at the Clink Hotel, King’s Cross Road, Clerkenwell, was conditionally discharged for two years and ordered to pay £200 compensation to the victim, plus £75 costs.

Robinson, who arrived in London on September 2, pleaded guilty to racially aggravated assault on Viraj Raval, by beating, at St. Pancras International Station, (pictured) King’s Cross, on Sunday, October 25.

He also pleaded guilty to racially aggravated threatening behaviour towards a total of five people, including the assault victim, at the same time and place.

The court heard Mr. Raval, a part-time worker at the Vodaphone shop in the station, angered the defendant when he began chatting with the sales assistant selling Robinson a mobile phone charger.

The defendant asked why he was talking to his colleague and when Mr. Raval began chatting again the defendant said: “Why don’t you fuck him in the ass then.”

Robinson stood and stared at Mr. Raval in an intimidating manner then rounded the counter shouting: “Make me leave the store.”

The victim admits he told Robinson to “fuck off” twice before the attack began.

“He swung a punch at me, striking me on the right cheek, causing my glasses to fly off,” Mr. Raval told police.

A flurry of punches followed, with Robinson throwing the victim to the floor while hurling abuse.

Witnesses heard Robinson shout: “You sand nigger,” at Mr. Raval, adding: “I would stamp on you if these people were not here. I would kill you.”

He also called the victim a “Middle-Eastern fuck” and repeatedly screamed “Nigger” also shouting: “Go back to your own country.”

Security staff eventually escorted Robinson out of the shop and British Transport Police arrested him.

Robinson, who graduated in Southern California has a diploma and MBA in finance and owns his own consultancy firm.

He was due to begin a 6-9 month Moscow contract this month.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Japanese Businessman Loses £17m In 'Ponzi' Fraud, Jury Told

Two businessmen, accused of masterminding a £250 million-plus international ‘Ponzi’ fraud, obtained £17m from their largest single investor just three months before their company directorship disqualifications, a court heard today (Monday).

Imperial Consolidated, based at former RAF Binbrook, Market Rasen, which boasted ten overseas offices and 350 employees, collapsed in June 2002, owing £150m.

Lincoln Julian Fraser, 38, (pic l.)of Orford Hall, Brookenby, Binbrook, Market Rasen, Lincolnshire and Jared Bentley Brook, 39, (pic r.) of Sefton Drive, Worseley, Manchester, attracted 3,000 clients from all over the world.

One of them, successful Japanese financier Yuichi Yoshida, managing director of Ueda Tanshi, a respected company that works with banks, told Blackfriars Crown Court he was assured of a safe 7.5% return on his 3 billion yen investment.

He signed off the money on April 4, 2001, but in July received an insolvency service press notice that both Fraser and Brook had been disqualified from being directors of U.K. companies.

In 2000 Mr. Yoshida had made two investments of at least £6m in Imperial Consolidated.

His confidence grew after making a quick profit on both occasions, receiving his investment back in full – plus interest – at healthy rates of 4.5% and 5%.

“It says the investment is 100% protected so I did believe that,” he told the jury. “This was absolutely necessary. It was company money, not personal money so we could not afford to lose it.”

Mr. Yoshida was sold the investments by Masao Imadzu – Imperial Consolidated’s Asia representative.

“If we had looked very thoroughly in the market we may have found something as good, but we trusted Mr. Imadzu.”

Imperial Consolidated’s brochure promised investments were protected by Lloyds of London, the court heard, and boasted of Fraser’s “entrepreneurial flair.”

“My understanding was this Imperial Consolidated fund had sufficient returns and no risk,” added Mr. Yoshida, who the prosecution say lost every penny of his £17m.

In Spring, 2001, he was invited to invest for a third time in an Alpha 2 fund and was flown on an Imperial Consolidated private jet from London to RAF Binbrook on March 19.

Following a meeting with Brook Mr. Yoshida agreed the investment. “Mr. Brook was very confident in himself and spoke very fluently.”

Both men have pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to defraud investors in investment schemes between January 1, 1998 and June 30, 2002 and fraudulent trading, knowing it was for a fraudulent purpose between May 1, 2000 and June 30, 2002.

The court was told £253.9 million was invested in Imperial Consolidated over four-and-a-half years and over £150 million has vanished, despite investors being convinced by the pair their savings were safe.

The jury was told neither Fraser nor Brook, who lived in Beacon Lodge, near Louth during the fraud, have any accountancy or formal financial qualifications.

They were banned from being company directors after a previous venture – Progressive Leisure – which ran the Midland Hotel, Morecambe, Lancashire, ceased trading, leaving a string of unhappy creditors.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Scaffold Boss Fined For Skylight Plunge

The boss of a Hemel Hempstead scaffolding firm was fined £5,000 after an employee crashed 10m through a Mothercare skylight – shattering his leg on the shop floor below.

Mark Wilson, owner of MWS Scaffolding Services, of Barberry Road, appeared at City of London Magistrates’ Court on a summons brought by the Health and Safety Executive.

Scaffolder Russell Cope was off work for three months and still suffers pain following the incident at The Mothercare World Store, Argon Road, Edmonton, on November 21, last year.

Wilson admitted failing to ensure the safety at work of all his employees during work near unprotected fragile skylights and was also ordered to pay £2,581 costs.

Mr. Dominic Elliss, representing the Executive told the court MWS Scaffolding Services was sub-contracted by a roofing firm working at the superstore.

Wilson himself was on-site with two scaffolders, one of which was Mr. Cope, who was asked to secure the final tube to an A-frame on the roof.

Wilson claims he believed Mr. Cope would perform the task from a safer inside area, but on the exposed roof he stepped onto a flimsy plastic skylight and plunged to the shop floor below.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Jilted Ex Turns Stalker

A jilted lover bombarded his ex with phone calls and text messages, stalked her at work and spied on her home, threatening to kill himself if she refused to have him back, a court heard.

Following a three-year romance 35 year-old insurance executive Andrew David Paine, of Pettys Close, Cheshunt, Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire, refused to accept it was over, accusing his ex of seeing another man.

Now his career hangs in the balance after being locked up for two weeks by City of London Magistrates’ Court where he was eventually sentenced to an eighteen-month community order, including twelve months probation supervision.

Father-of-one Paine pleaded guilty to harassing ex-girlfriend Julie Turner between October 30 and November 1, contrary to the Protection from Harassment Act and was also slapped with a five-year restraining order.

Prosecutor Mrs. Varinder Hayre told the court Paine sent 55 text messages between the two dates, starting in the early hours of the morning until late at night.

“Some of the messages were very distressing and the victim says the harassment is freaking her out,” explained Mrs. Hayre. “She says she is constantly frightened and worried, always on edge and anxious.”

On October 30, following a day of texts and calls Paine, employed by a Central London company, confronted Miss Turner outside her work.

“She asked him to leave her alone and told him the relationship was over. The defendant was begging her to go back with him and was crying,” Mrs. Hayre told the court.

“She threatened to call the police and the defendant walked away.”

However Paine followed his ex to Victoria Station. “She felt someone behind her, saw the defendant and he asked her if she was going on a date.

“He threatened to kill himself if she did not go back with him and started to cry,” added the prosecutor.

On November 1 Miss Turner was home alone when she received more texts from Paine.

“He said he could see her lights on and she saw the defendant sitting in his car outside her house before he sped off up the road. She was very frightened and checked her doors and windows.

“He had previously threatened to kill her if she would see anyone else,” added Mrs. Hayre. “She says she is also suffering anxiety attacks as a result and is on medication.”

Paine’s lawyer Miss Hannah Sampson told the court: “He is horrified and humiliated to find himself here. The two weeks he has spent in Wandsworth Prison were frightening.”

The lawyer explained her client’s two-week absence from his job of five years has put his employment in jeopardy.

“He is now aware this relationship is over,” said Miss Sampson. “He has more than learned his lesson.”

Paine was also ordered to pay £75 costs.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Clown Prince Of Robbers Caged For 11 Years

Clown Prince of Robbers Anthony Lee Perry had the grin wiped off his face when sentenced to 11 years for a string of raids on bookies and armoured vans while on the run from prison.

Perry, 31, of Great Dover Street, Borough, Southwark, earned his nickname after posing with cigarettes behind his ears for a police mugshot and was the target of a manhunt publicized on BBC’s Crimewatch and the national press.

He also wore silly shades and naff tracksuits during robberies - in which his gang threatened terrified staff with violence, claiming they had a gun – netting £31,500.

They targeted a string of London betting shops, a Bristol bookies, a Cheltenham Post Office and armoured vans in Basingstoke and Leamington Spa last year, during a 10-week blitz.

Perry’s gang was so notorious Tower Bridge Flying Squad mounted Operation Hoscar to trap them and the Association of British Bookmakers put up a £10,000 reward for his capture.

Perry pleaded guilty at Inner London Crown Court to conspiring to rob betting shops between July 24 and October 3, last year, and security vans on or before October 8.

He also pleaded guilty to robbing a post office in Tewkesbury Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, of £4,235 cash on September 5, last year.

Perry and accomplice Fabian Dawson, 29, jailed for 10 ½ years for his role plus other unknown raiders robbed Ladbrokes Bookmakers in Rotherhithe New Road, Rotherhithe of £1,500 on July 25; Southwark Park Road, Southwark of £960 on July 31; Salmon Lane, Poplar, of £600 on August 4 and Moravian Road, Kingswood, Bristol, of £4,500 on August 23.

He also robbed William Hill’s, London road, Streatham, of £144, on August 7 and Ladbrokes, Fishponds Road, Bristol, of £700 on September 5.

Perry was the getaway driver for raids on cash vans at Homebase, Winchester Road, Basingstoke, when £4,000 in coins was grabbed and on September 16 at Shires Retail Park, Tachbrook Drive, Leamington Spa, when £12,515 was snatched on October 2.

He became the fourth generation of his South London crime family to appear at the courthouse, located in tough Elephant and Castle.

Judge Simon Davis told Perry, handcuffed in the dock for extra security, “These offences bear all the hallmarks of a planned campaign of organized robberies. You were part of a professional team.

“These were all commercial premises deliberately targeted for high financial proceeds and these robberies were carried out over a long period of time. There must have been some planning.”

Prosecutor Mr. James Brown said Perry, jailed for twelve years for the manslaughter of a female pedestrian while driving a stolen car during a police chase, absconded from Ford Open Prison on June 2, last year, five months short of his release.

“The M.O. was simple and repeated throughout the robberies,” explained Mr. Brown. “They went into betting shops and lingered around, pretending to use the toilet, waiting for the opportunity for the secure area to be opened, or simply smashed their way in, frightening staff.

“There were two occasions when members of staff believed they had a gun.”

During the Salmon Lane robbery on August 4 the duo demanded the keys to the safe. “Perry puts his hand in his pocket and staff took that as an indication he had a gun,” said the prosecutor.

“The members of staff plead not to be hurt and Perry tells them they will not be if they do what they are told.”

At William Hill’s Dawson made a gun threat in front of Perry. “He says he will shoot staff if they do not co-operate with the safe.”

Typically Perry followed Dawson behind the counters. “They sought to target the safes, not just the tills,” said Mr. Brown.

“They were often disguised with sunglasses, caps and t-shirts pulled up over the lower part of their faces.”

During the raid on Ladbrokes, Kingswood, Dawson simply vaulted the counter. “Perry encourages him to get on with it and acts as a look-out as £4,500 is snatched.”

Staff later describe their ordeal as “petrifying”.

In Fishponds Road Dawson vaulted the counter, kicking the cashier in the face and breaking his glasses, as Perry acted as lookout.

The pair even tackle a have-a-go hero at Tewksbury Post Office who tried to trap Dawson inside the secure area.

“There was a member of the public who courageously intervened and this defendant kicked open the door to allow Dawson to escape.”

After the Leamington Spa van robbery the cashbox was abandoned by the side of the motorway after security dye ruined the notes.

Perry gave himself up at Hounslow Police Station on February 12, this year, three days after The Sun newspaper printed his notorious ‘clown’ picture.

His lawyer Mr. Khali Missuri told the court: “He has battled with the problem of his homosexuality as he grew up on the tough Aylesbury Estate, North Peckham. He has had to hide who he is.

“He has an unhealthy desire to be accepted in the neighbourhood and this has led to his criminal behaviour.”

The Ford walkout was triggered by a relationship he formed with another inmate, explained the lawyer. “He had been ridiculed and threatened.

“At the end he wanted to get caught and get out of this mess he was in.”

Afterwards DC Mark Murdoch said: “He is a dangerous robber and got the sentence he deserved. That is the aim of the Flying Squad. To arrest people like him and put them in prison.”

Outside, Perry’s father Anthony Perry snr. 61, a reformed villain who now tutors inmates at tough Wandsworth Prison said: “It’s my fault he is here.

“My father, my grandfather appeared in this court, I appeared here and now Lee. It’s the unfortunate consequence of a family history.

“He stole five million pounds worth of computer chips when he was fifteen years-old. He got four years for that,” added Mr. Perry snr.

During the manhunt a police source said: "Perry gives the impression of being a clown but he's a very dangerous man. Someone knows where he is and can wipe the smile off his face."

Thursday, 19 November 2009

'Ponzi' Trader In Court Again

A foreign exchange dealer accused of a ‘Ponzi’ scheme that left 800 investors £17m out of pocket was bailed until next year at City of London Magistrates’ Court yesterday (Wednesday).

Terence Freeman, 61, of King’s Place, King’s Road, Horsham, West Sussex, formerly of 30 Whitehall Lane, Buckhurst Hill, Essex, is the former boss of City-based GFX Capital Markets Ltd.

Freeman was investigated by the City of London Police’s Economic Crime Department, after initially reporting threats from investors to police.

Freeman is charged that between June 1, 2006 and September 30, 2007, within the jurisdiction of the Central Criminal Court, he was knowingly a party to the carrying on of a business, namely GFX Ltd., for a fraudulent purpose, namely the inducement of persons to invest in a ‘Safe’ exchange scheme by making false representations and statements as to the protection and profits of investments.

He is also charged that between October 1, 2007 and February 9, 2009, within the jurisdiction of the Central Criminal Court the business of GFX Ltd. was carried on with intent to defraud creditors by similarly making false representations and statements.

He also is also charged that between January 1, 2006 and February 9, this year, being an undischarged bankrupt, acted as a director of GFX Ltd.

Between the same dates he is charged with failing to disclose to business associates his former name, under which he was made bankrupt.

Freeman is further charged with stealing £120,590 between November 7 and 30, 2007, belonging to investors in GFX Ltd and between the same dates acquiring, using or possessing criminal property, namely a diamond bespoke ring and gentleman’s signet ring.

Thirty investors are alleged to have lost over £130,000, with one individual said to have lost £1.5m.

Freeman was bailed to return on January 13, next year on conditions he reside at his address, surrenders his passport, reports weekly to local police and does not handle investments for trading.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Teen Muslim 'Groom' Rapes Illegal Wife

The teenage groom in an illegal Muslim wedding raped his 12 year-old ‘bride’ – also his cousin – in a ceremony arranged by his parents and the victim’s father.

Now all four members of the family face jail for subjecting the unwilling girl – married behind her shocked mother’s back – to a “nightmare”.

The 17 year-old groom was convicted today (Wednesday) at Wood Green Crown Court of raping the girl at his parents’ South London home on March 22, last year.

His parents, both aged 54, and the victim’s Tottenham father, 29, were convicted by the jury of causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity and all four were bailed until December 22 for sentencing.

The convictions follow a lengthy and meticulous investigation by detectives from the Child Abuse Investigation Team at Highgate with assistance from Haringey Council Children Services, the National Association of Muslim Police and the Henna Foundation.

The victim’s mother raised the alarm after her daughter’s father took the girl to his brothers’ home without permission.

Once there he staged an illegal marriage between the cousins and with co-operation from the boy’s parents allowed the youngsters to have sex.

The victim's mother said: "What happened to my daughter was a nightmare. Today's convictions will help us move on.

"DI McHugh and DC Hodges from Haringey Child Abuse Team have been very supportive through the case.

If you have been forced into a marriage or have been victim to such sexual abuse, there is help out there. The Police will help you. Do not feel frightened to speak out."

Detective Inspector Noel McHugh, who led the investigation, said: "This has been an exceptionally challenging investigation and we are grateful to all those who assisted with the case and ensured these convictions today.

"The offences committed are incomprehensible and the victim is a truly brave girl who suffered at the hands of those who should have offered her protection.

“She and her mother assisted the investigation throughout and, due to their courage, we have been able to ensure justice here today."

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

'Road Rage' Lady Driver Rams Pregnant Motorist

A ‘road rage’ woman was locked up for 9 months after driving into a pregnant motorist, pinning her to her own vehicle, minutes after being cut up.

Angry Leanne Smith, 24, of Cliffside Court, West Hill, Dartford, Kent, screamed abuse at the 32 year-old victim, who was five months pregnant and punched her in the face before ramming her as she dialed 999.

She pleaded guilty at Woolwich Crown Court to causing grievous bodily harm in Highland Road, Bexleyheath, on March 16.

The victim pulled in front of Smith in Crayford, causing the defendant to slow down, but apologized and held up her hand.

Two miles later, at a red light, Smith jumped out of her car shouting abuse and punched the victim through her partially open window.

The victim’s 30 year-old sister got out of the car, but her pleas to end the attack on a pregnant woman were ignored, with Smith turning on her, grabbing her hair with both hands and trying to punch her.

The shocked victim got out of her car to call police, but found herself pinned to her own car as Smith drove straight into her, also causing over £1,100 of damage before speeding off.

The unborn baby was fortunately unharmed, but doctors at Darenth Valley Hospital, where the victim was rushed by ambulance, treated her for a fractured cheekbone, severe facial bruising, swelling and tenderness to her pelvic area and both feet.

Six days later the victim spotted Smith in Dartford, noted her car’s number plate, and tipped-off police.

The victim gave birth to a healthy baby girl in July.

Detective Constable Rhana Dhillon, of Bexley Police CID, said: "I would like to thank the victim for her vigilance and determination.

"If she had not spotted the suspect at a later stage we may not have obtained the crucial lead we needed.

"What makes this case even more horrific is that the victim was heavily pregnant and despite being told this Smith continued to assault the victim and deliberately drove into her.

"I am just thankful that the baby was unharmed and is healthy."

Monday, 16 November 2009

Teen Caged For Knife Killing

A teenager who stabbed a 15 year-old boy to death was caged for seventeen years today (Monday) after youths broke a code of silence that stalled the police investigation into the brutal street attack.

Chris Mazekelua, 17, was convicted at the Old Bailey of murdering Steven Lewis (pictured) who he stabbed in the chest during a disturbance involving hundreds of youngsters.

He was attacked by a gang from a rival postcode as he left a charity event aimed at tackling youth violence and died in his 16 year-old sister Tanya's arms as his 13 year-old brother looked on.

Witnesses said the gang, who were armed and 'looking for trouble' had issued death threats to the victim over the last four months.

Hundreds of youngsters spilled out of St. Cedd's hall, next to St. Philip's and St. James's Church when trouble broke out.

Steven had been stabbed in October by the gang from the neighbouring Custom House area.

Police on patrol in Whitwell Road, Plaistow, East London, on January 24 saw a large group of youths at 10.45 pm.

They fled the area, leaving Steven dying in the street.

He was pronounced dead just over an hour later at the Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel.

Detective Chief Inspector Stephen Clayman, of the Homicide and Serious Crime Command, said:"This investigation has once again highlighted a willingness for some young people to arm themselves with weapons and in this case, to use them with fatal consequences.

“A number of knives, including a machete, were found discarded in and around the scene after the police had arrived.

“This only reinforces the need for a robust response by the MPS when tackling those who choose to carry such weapons.

"This inquiry was hampered at an early stage by a significant lack of co-operation by more than 300 young people who were present at the scene and who were clearly influenced by a 'don't snitch' culture.

“Many refused to speak to the police and many of those who did were simply not prepared to provide any evidence.

“This resulted in those that had initially been arrested having to be bailed.

“In this case, public support through witness evidence was paramount due to other factors, such as forensic evidence being minimal.

“Fortunately, a small number of people were brave enough to come forward and provide evidence and it is as a result of their efforts, along with a dedicated investigation team, that convictions have been secured.

"This only reinforces the need for communities, particularly its younger members, to have the confidence and trust to speak to the police, to see tackling violent crime as their business and that the police can deal with their issues.

"I would like to thank all those who supported this investigation and our thoughts go out to Steven's family at this time.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Tesco's Fined £23,000 For Rodent Bagel

Tesco’s were fined a total of £23,000 on Friday after a British Telecom P.A. bought a rodent-gnawed bagel stored on a urine-soaked shelf covered in droppings.

“Parts of the bagel were missing. It looked like it had been eaten,” Jill Pearson, 49, told City of London Magistrates’ Court.

Mrs. Pearson, (pictured) of Woodford Green, Essex, had popped into Tesco Express, Holborn Viaduct, next door to her B.T. building, after finishing late on December 5, last year.

“I was going to get a bagel to take home and toast and have it with marmite,” she explained. “I liked the one with seasoned nuts.

“After arriving home I realized the bag had been split or broken in some way. Parts of the bagel looked like they were missing so I put them back in the bag.”

Work colleagues urged her to report Tesco’s and the next day she phoned City of London’s Environmental Health Department, who prosecuted the case case.

Their Environmental Health Officer, Patricia Jones, who has been on the Food Team fifteen years inspected the bagels and the busy store.

“The bagels appeared that they had been gnawed by some rodent. Part of the bagel was missing,” she told the JP’s. “My initial reaction was ‘we have got a problem somewhere’.”

She inspected the bottom shelf where the ‘Food Doctor’ bagels were for sale.

“There was a strong musty smell which over the years I’ve learned is the smell of rodent urine,” she explained. “I also noticed quite a few droppings. Twenty to thirty sprinkled around.”

She spotted telltale rodent evidence in the section. “At least two of the other packets had gnawing damage.”

The officer inspected the fresh-baked area. “I could see a few droppings caught between the shelf and the edgeways.”

The fresh pasta section was no better. “I did find droppings on the shelf.”

Inside the small gloomy storeroom which also housed the oven Mrs. Jones discovered potential rodent entrance points.

“The floor had a bit missing, there were two large holes in the wall behind the oven and a couple of ceiling tiles were missing. “Those holes made it very easy for any rodent to gain entry.”

There were also large gaps between the bottom of the loading door and the floor with protective bristles either worn or chewed away, she added.

She ordered Tesco’s to stop baking immediately, remove items from shelves and clean and disinfect.

Tesco Stores Limited, of Tesco House, Delamare Road, Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, were convicted on two summonses of placing a bagel on the market which was unsafe for human consumption in that it had been gnawed by a rodent, contrary to the General Food Regulations, made under the Food Safety Act 1990 and were fined £10,000 on each.

They were also convicted of failing to provide food premises protected from contamination by pests, namely rodents, contrary to the 2006 Food Hygiene Regulations and were fined £3,000

Tesco’s claimed fundamental “failures” in Mrs. Jones’ investigation, pointing to the fact they had a pest control entry in their records on December 4 and a Rentokil contract.

The company was also ordered to pay £8,551 costs.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Pole Beaten To Death By Fellow-Countrymen

A Pole who sought a better life in London, was beaten to death in a scruffy squat at the hands of four fellow-countrymen, each jailed for eleven years at the Old Bailey yesterday.

Tomasz Bundyra, 28,(pictured) suffered fatal multiple injuries to his head, torso and legs – consistent with a sustained beating with fists and feet – around lunchtime in a disused office block just south of the Thames.

Four Poles were each sentenced to 11 years imprisonment after pleading guilty to Mr. Bundyra’s manslaughter at Partnership House, Waterloo Road, on January 26.

They are: Tomasz Bobola, 36; Pawl Synoweich, 22; Dariusz Glusek, 30 and Igor Volosin, 33, who all shared the squat. A fifth defendant, Kristof Skobel, 48, will be sentenced on December 11.

All five, who were caught by detectives from the Homicide and Serious Crime Command, will be deported to Poland after completing their sentences.

Friday, 13 November 2009

G20 Spray-Painter Accepts Caution

An Islington man, accused of spray painting the Wellington Statue in front of the Bank of England during the G20 demonstration in the City of London earlier this year, will be cautioned by police instead of prosecuted.

Francis Medina, 41, of Upper Caldy Walk, had originally been charged with causing criminal damage to the national monument, (pictured) by graffiti, on April 1.

City of London Magistrates’ Court heard on Thursday the prosecution would be dropped on medical grounds.