Navy veteran left terrified after Bethnal Green mugging

A knife-wielding mugger who left a pensioner who served in the Royal Navy for 45 years too terrified to walk the streets has been jailed.

Veteran Anthony Radford, 70, was on his way home after collecting his newspaper when Mohammed Abby grabbed him by the throat, pulled a blade and demanded his cash.

Abby, 27, shoved him against a wall before rifling through his bags for valuables in Bethnal Green Road in September - before giving up after not finding anything.

He then tried to shake Mr Radford’s hand in a cowardly attempt to stop him calling the police.

In a statement to Snaresbrook Crown Court, Mr Radford said: “I have spent 45 years in the Navy, so I have been in pressure situations before, but this was very scary.

“Since the incident I have become aware of people behind me all the time and I feel like I’m always looking over my shoulder when I’m out on the street.”

Abby had just stolen cigarettes and beer after threatening a shop owner with a knife before attempting to mug his frail victim.

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After attacking Mr Radford, he went to another store in Roman Road where he stole two bottles of gin, threatening to stab the shopkeeper if he tried to stop him.

Jailing Abby, Mr Recorder Mohammed Khamisa QC said: “The fear that you have instilled in this man makes walking the streets terrifying for him.”

Abby, of Heneage Street, Mile End, was given five years behind bars after admitting two counts of theft and one of attempted theft.