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Man who fled to Jamaica after woman was choked during violent robbery near White City jailed

Dean James fled to Jamaica after a robbery saw a lone woman choked and robbed near White City

James fled after his arrest and was caught one year later in Jamacia(Image: Met Police)

A man who followed a lone woman near White City before she was choked and robbed of £20,000 worth of jewellery has been jailed.

Dean James, 37, who fled to Jamaica after his arrest, was found guilty of robbery on Tuesday (September 5) at Southwark Crown Court .

On March 7, 2016, a female victim was unknowingly followed in Highlever Road by two men.

She heard a noise and turned to see the two men.

One of the men shouted "go" and the pair ran towards her, grabbing her arms and shoulders to prevent her running away, the police said.

After one man grabbed her throat and pushed her to the floor, he put his arms across her eyes and mouth and told her: "If you don't stop screaming I am going to kill you".

At the same time, the second man pulled the wedding and engagement rings from her fingers.

The pair failed to steal her handbag as they were unable to prise it from her grip, before they fled the scene.

The witness was unable to say which of the pair threatened to kill her or choked her.

The "frightening" robbery took place on Highlever Road(Image: Google Maps)

An investigation by Met Police officers from the Westminster Crime Squad swiftly identified James as a suspect and he was arrested on April 21, 2016.

He was released on bail while inquiries were carried out.

Police inquiries established clothing seized from James's home were linked to the offence and he was positively identified by the victim.

In June 2016, James failed to return on bail and officers found he had fled the country shortly after he was released on bail, travelling to Jamaica on a one-way ticket in May.

Officers liaised with the Crown Prosecution Service and a charge of robbery was authorised, leading to an arrest warrant for James being issued at Westminster Magistrates Court in July last year.

On Thursday, 15 June, he was arrested by the Jamaican Fugitive Apprehension Team (JFAT) in Chocolate Hole, St Elizabeth, Jamaica.

A month later, Crime Squad officers flew to Kingston, Jamaica, to arrange James’s removal and on July 13 he returned to the UK and was charged with robbery.

James was sentenced to six years and four months in prison after being found guilty of robbery.

While the jewellery was not recovered, James was also ordered to pay £1,775 in compensation to the victim.

The second suspect remains outstanding.

PC Niall Seymour, Westminster Crime Squad, spoke after the sentencing in Southwark Crown Court.

He said: "James clearly thought he had escaped justice by fleeing the country but today's result show the lengths we will go to bring perpetrators to justice for serious crimes such as these.

"In this case the victim was left extremely traumatised by what was a very frightening experience.

"I hope she can take some solace in this result."

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