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Scooter teens are jailed for pavement attack

Soho man, 19, gets seven years for series of attacks, including one in which a man was dragged 50 metres along the road

30 March, 2018 — By Tom Foot

Osita Okoli (left) and Tyler House. Okoli was identified by forensic tests on a moped he left behind after being confronted by members of the public in Marylebone

A TEENAGER who stole a £15,000 camera and threatened a man with a hammer in a string of scooter pavement attacks has been sentenced to seven years in prison.

Osita Okoli, from Marshall Street, Soho, was identified by forensic tests on a bike he left behind after being confronted by members of the public in Crawford Place, Marylebone, Southwark Crown Court heard.

Police said the 19-year-old had been involved in 25 scooter thefts over five months between April and September 2017 and had been the driver in a terrifying attack in Edgware Road, Paddington, on June 4. Okoli was riding a scooter that mounted the pavement and drove towards a man holding expensive camera equipment. The man was dragged 50 metres along the road before he freed himself while dislocating his shoulder.

One month later, around 11pm on July 6, Okoli was back in action in Crawford Place where he threatened a man with hammers and stole his watch before trying to escape on a stolen moped.

The public intervened and Okoli and his partner in crime that day, Tyler House, 19, from Islington, who was sentenced to two years and eight months this week, fled on foot.

Their discarded moped and clothing were analysed by forensic teams that led to their arrests at home in September. Okoli’s home contained a massive stash of stolen camera equipment from the robbery, police said.

In a warning to scooter gangs, Detective Constable Sara Keane said: “We will do everything we can to find you and bring you to justice.”

She added: “These offenders rely on the unwariness of the public to snatch their possessions so it is so important that the people are aware of their surroundings at all times and protect their personal property.”

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