A TEENAGE phone snatcher who trawled west London’s train network looking for victims has avoided jail and given the chance of a clean slate.
Hasan Nasser, 18, was given a suspended jail term at Isleworth Crown Court on Monday, following his conviction for five robberies and two thefts, committed between April and July 2012.
Nasser, of Larch Crescent, Hayes, grabbed iPhones from passengers on trains in the evenings before alighting and making a getaway. At other times he would surprise people waiting on platforms.
He started his spree by committing two robberies over three days in April at West Drayton station. The victim of the second robbery was punched in the face.
Next was a theft as a train was about to leave Southall station on April 18, and Nasser returned to West Drayton on April 25, targetting a woman on the platform.
Two robberies followed in Hounslow, in May and June. One of the women had her earphones yanked from her ears with such force the wire snapped. His last offence was committed as a Tube train was about to pull out of Isleworth station.
British Transport Police made media appeals to trace him, and he was caught after a police officer recognised him on a bus. Nasser denied the offences, but was found guilty after a four-day trial.
At his sentencing at Isleworth Crown Court on Monday, June 24, Luke Hindmarsh, defending, said Nasser was a young man with a “great deal of bravado and front, behind which he hides [but] there is a desire to start again with a clean slate”.
In summing up, Recorder C J Jones said he had ‘charm’, and added: “You are clearly an adrenaline junkie, and you committed the thefts for the thrill. There was excitement in the build-up to taking the phones. Unfortunately, your background has meant that you haven’t used that need in a positive way.
“Even when you were caught, and with the clear CCTV of many of the incidents, you refused to accept responsibility.”
In what she described as an ‘unusual course of action’, Recorder Jones sentenced Nasser to 22 months in jail terms for each robbery, to run concurrently, but suspended the terms for 18 months. He received six months for each of the two thefts, to run concurrently, also suspended. He must also do 150 hours of unpaid work, and pay each victim £20 in compensation.
“The victims in this case would wish that you go to jail. You need to understand that you caused them a great deal of upset, and accept that they are victims.
“I have a duty to balance their needs, and also make sure you don’t come back here.”