Babyface bandits on scooters jailed after capture by east London posse of police

Jailed motor-scooter bandits... John Smith (left) and Shemar Williams

Jailed motor-scooter bandits... John Smith (left) and Shemar Williams - Credit: MPS

Two teenage motor-scooter bandits who carried out a terrifying string of 34 violent robberies across east London—mostly at night—have reached the end of the road and are spending the Bank Holiday and the next five years in jail.

The 16-year-olds stalked women over a two-week period in October and November and rode up behind them in the street and snatched their handbags. They also held up other riders and russled their machines.

John Smith and Shemar Williams had carried out the raids in Tower Hamlets and neighbouring Newham and Waltham Forest before they were rounded up.

Police had set up a special squad after the robberies began, made up of officers from the three Met divisions where the raids took place.

The two youths from Forest Gate pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rob when they appeared at Snaresbrook crown court.

Smith was locked up on Friday for five years, with a further two years on licence when released, while Williams was given three-and-a-half years and a further 18 months added on for two separate robberies at knifepoint.

The judge commended the officers who caught them and lifted reporting restrictions on the juvenile duo.

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Det Supt Raffaele D’Orsi, leading the squad, said after the sentences were handed down: “Two dangerous individuals have been taken off the streets and have been stopped from causing more offences and serious injury to victims.”

All but two robberies were carried out at night-time and often a weapon such as a hammer or a knife was used. One victim ended up in hospital after being held up by the pair and his motor-scooter snatched from him.