Moped phone thief ‘almost killed friend’
21-year-old is jailed for seven years after head-on collision ‘destroyed pillion passenger’s life'
23 February, 2018 — By Samantha Booth
Jailed: Harry Wright
A MAN has been jailed after he used a stolen moped to steal mobile phones before crashing and seriously injuring his pillion passenger, leaving him in need of “very long-term care”.
Harry Wright is the latest offender to be brought into court for snatching phones from pedestrians around Islington as police face mounting pressure from victims on how they plan to stop the thefts.
The 21-year-old was handed a seven-year sentence on Tuesday for three thefts, possession of a hunting knife and class A and B drugs, and causing serious injury to his friend by dangerous driving.
He was handed a five-year driving ban, starting from his release.
Detective Constable Ken Kahane said it was “pure luck” Wright, of Canonbury Road, did not kill or hurt pedestrians as he rode on the pavement last November. He had stolen a Piaggio moped from Hackney a week earlier before targeting rush-hour commuters.
CCTV captured him riding the moped on the pavement, going the wrong way down Tottenham Road, with witnesses estimating his speed at 40-50mph.
Moments later, after rejoining the road, the moped crashed head-on into the front of a BMW.
Watch footage of the robbery in Essex Road and riding on the pavement in Tottenham Road
Wright was detained by police officers, who found a hunting knife tucked into his waistband.
His 18-year-old pillion passenger was taken to hospital in a critical condition. Police said he has received life-changing head injuries which require “very long-term care”.
Due to the nature of his injuries, the teenager has not been arrested, the Metropolitan Police spokesman added.
Detective Constable Ben Kahane, from Hackney CID, said: “Wright almost killed his friend for the sake of stealing a few mobile phones worth a couple of hundred pounds.
“In the words of the judge, Wright has ‘destroyed the victim’s life’.
“This case is a reminder to those committing moped-enabled crime that you risk your own life and that of passengers and the public by undertaking such reckless criminality.”