December 12 2013 Latest news:
Jessica Earnshaw, Reporter
Monday, August 19, 2013
A “prolific drug addicted offender” and armed robber who threatened and stole money from two boys in a Woodford Green park has been jailed for 12 months.
Steven Harris, of Marston Road, Clayhall, approached the terrified 16 and 17-year-olds at 5.20pm on June 16 demanding cash and threatening violence, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard.
After stealing £10 cash, Harris, who has been known to the police for some time, made a swift exit from the park land close to South Woodford Cricket Club, Highfield Road.
Investigations by Ilford Police led them to Harris, who was being investigated as part of Operation Topple, an initiative targeting the top five “most harmful” criminals involved in burglary, robbery and motor criminal crime.
Harris, who was arrested four days after the incident, was found guilty on Thursday of one count of robbery and sentenced to 12 months imprisonment.
Det Insp Craig Robinson said: “Harris is a prolific drug addicted offender, who has rightly been targeted because of his offending.
“Harris, like others, will always remain danger to the public until he is able to overcome his drug addiction, which he has shown no willing to do. After he was released from prison, he has tested positive for drugs on a number of occasions.”
The 40-year-old had recently been released prison after being sentenced to six years for a series of armed robberies including incidents at both Nationwide and Lloyds banks in Barkingside.
Det Insp Robinson added: “This offence - stealing money from children - shows the lengths that addicts will go to feed their habit and has resulted in this term of imprisonment. I would urge anybody with an addiction, to seek treatment rather than turn to crime”.