London thief 'nearly killed his friend for a few mobile phones'

Harry Wright and some of the items found on his person

Harry Wright and some of the items found on his person

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

A London man who used a stolen moped to commit a series of mobile phone thefts before crashing and seriously injuring his pillion passenger has been jailed.

Harry Wright, 21 and of Canonbury, was sentenced at Wood Green Crown Court to seven years' imprisonment for three theft offences, possession of a bladed article, possession of Class A and B drugs and causing serious injury by dangerous driving. He was also given a five-year driving ban upon release. 

He had previously pleaded guilty on December 13, 2017 to a seven-count indictment which included causing serious injury by dangerous driving. 

Detective constable Ben Kahane, from Hackney CID, said: "Harry Wright almost killed his friend for the sake of a stealing a few mobile phones worth a couple of hundred pounds. In the words of the judge, Wright has 'destroyed the victim's life'

"Given the deliberate dangerousness of his driving, it was pure luck that he didn't hurt or kill any innocent pedestrians.

"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."

The court had previously heard that on November 4, 2017, Wright stole a Piaggio moped which had been parked on Southgate Grove Road in Hackney. 

Just over a week later, on November 13, Wright rode the moped through Islington and Hackney targeting morning rush-hour commuters. The court was played CCTV footage of Wright narrowly missing several pedestrians while riding on the pavement.

Detectives were able to identify three victims of snatches on Upper Street, Essex Road and Kingsland Road. 

Shortly after committing a final unsuccessful theft on Kingsland Road at around 9.50am the moped went through a 'No Entry' junction on Tottenham Road, N1 and into the path of oncoming vehicles. Wright was captured on CCTV riding the moped along the pavement while going the wrong way down the residential street. Several witnesses estimated the speed of the moped to be between 40 and 50mph. Moments later, after re-joining the road, the moped crashed head-on into the front of a BMW.

Wright was detained by police officers, who found a hunting knife tucked into his waistband. 

Wright's 18-year-old pillion passenger was taken to hospital in a critical condition. He continues to receive medical treatment.