Mugger caged for stealing coat off boy’s back in Mile End

An “extraordinarily mean” mugger who stole the coat off a teenager’s back - forcing him to walk home in the rain wearing only a vest - was locked up for eight months today (Friday).

The terrified victim, who had been on his way to a mosque to pray, was robbed by a gang of thugs led by 18-year-old Ibrahim Patel in Mile End Park.

Patel, of Campbell Road, Bow, first asked to see the 17-year-old’s jacket then snarled: “You don’t want me to hurt you.”

Snaresbrook Crown Court heard the boy became even more frightened when he realised four other youths were with Patel, that he handed over his coat on June 8 last year.

Prosecutor Paul Goddard told the jury Patel grabbed the jacket, jumped on a bike with one of the other youths and rode off, while the boy had to make his way home in the chilly weather in a sleeveless top.

Patel was arrested in September, and picked out in an identity parade by the young victim, who can’t be named for legal reasons.

Patel, who receives disability benefits because he suffers from Attention Deficit and Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), admitted a single count of robbery.

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Ian McLarty, defending, said his client was living in a hostel at the time because of difficult family circumstances, but Judge Alan Pardoe QC retorted: “Lots of people are unhappy at home, but they don’t go out and rob a jacket off someone’s back.”

The judge pointed out Patel was not a first-time offender and described the robbery as “extraordinarily mean”.

Sentencing Patel to eight months in a young offenders’ institute, he told the teenager: “You were the ringleader of the gang and you were targeting a vulnerable victim.”