A Crystal Palace man who threatened to stab his victims in a spate of robberies on trains in Streatham, Tulse Hill and West Norwood has been jailed for three-and-a-half years.

Gabriel Matu, 18, of no fixed address but local to the Crystal Palace area, robbed seven passengers between December 20 last year and January 28.

He targeted victims for their mobile phones and threatened to “shank” - stab - them if they did not hand over their possessions.

He was arrested after British Transport Police (BTP) used CCTV to trace his movements after he robbed a man on board a train at Streatham railway station, then was stopped by a ticket inspector for travelling without a ticket.

Each of the victims was put through a frightening ordeal by Matu, the BTP said.

Detective Constable Oliver Gilbert, of BTP's south London robbery squad, said: “The victims were cornered on a moving train and with no means of escape, and Matu was able to put them in such fear that they handed over their property.

“These offences were extremely serious - although no knife was ever seen by the victims - Matu intimated that he had one.”