Pen-wielding thug and sidekick jailed for tube attacks
Two muggers who rampaged through a train carriage and viciously attacked a passenger have been jailed for a total of 10 years.
Tyrone Harris, of Shelley Way, Colliers Wood, and Frankie Spink, of Garratt Lane, Tooting, are in prison after they threatened, assaulted and attempted to steal from passengers on a Northern line train earlier this year.
Unsatisfied, 29-year-old Harris then continued on a solo campaign to attack passengers with a biro pen on the Victoria Line.
At around 8pm on Wednesday, February 1, Harris and Spink, 25, carried out what witnesses described as “blatant attempts to steal from passengers” on a train between Tooting Bec and Clapham North stations.
Detective Sergeant Tom Madden, from the British Transport Police, said: “When the train arrived at Clapham North, they followed a 23-year-old man and, unprovoked, punched him in the head and face several times, leaving him with cuts and bruising.
“Following the attack, Harris continued to offend alone. Moving to the Victoria line, he took on a new method to threaten people, using a pen to assault and threaten people on at least three separate occasions.”
Then at about 10pm, Harris approached a 20-year-old man on a southbound Victoria line train as it arrived at Pimlico and tried to steal his BlackBerry, wounding him in the face with the biro pen when his attempt failed.
Fifteen minutes later, Harris approached another passenger on a southbound Victoria line service between Vauxhall and Stockwell, demanding the victim hand over money and his mobile phone.
The victim refused and Harris again attacked using a biro, causing a puncture wound and bruising on the victim’s face.
Harris finally managed to steal a mobile phone from a man in Brixton, but police officers located him soon after the theft in a fast food restaurant.
At an earlier hearing at Blackfriars Crown Court on Friday, July 6, Harris pleaded guilty to seven counts of attempted robbery and assault while Spink pleaded guilty to attempted robbery and affray.
Appearing for sentence at the court on Thursday, August 16, Harris was jailed for seven years and will spend four years on licence after being released.
Spink was handed a three-and-a-half year prison sentence.
Det Sgt Madden added: “Thankfully violent offences like this are extremely rare on the London Underground network but, when they do occur, they are treated with the utmost severity by investigators.
“Harris and Spink’s tactics were thuggish and predatory; solely targeting those they assumed wouldn’t retaliate.
“The pair clearly thought they could get away with it but didn’t count on brave witnesses willing to testify against them, nor the excellent quality of CCTV footage catching them in the acts.
“The accounts of witnesses, combined with excellent CCTV evidence, gave both no other option but to plead guilty to their offences.”
Steve Burton, Director of Community Safety, Enforcement and Policing at Transport for London, said: “The actions of these two men caused fear to not only the victims, but a number of other passengers who witnessed these attacks over a sustained period, and we are happy with the sentences that have been handed down to both offenders. “