Hainault robber, who punched man to floor for his mobile phone, sentenced to four years in prison

Flavino Da Silva

Flavino Da Silva - Credit: Archant

A Hainault robber who was seen “sizing up potential victims” outside a tube station before punching a man to the floor for his mobile phone, has been jailed for four years alongside a teenage accomplice.

Flavino Da Silva, 21, of Tomswood Hill, and a 15-year-old boy, attacked the 30-year-old man while he was on his way to work in Plaistow on December 11 last year.

They were caught by chance after an off duty police officer heard the man’s screams, after noticing the two men “sizing up potential victims” while waiting for a friend outside the station.

After running to the man’s aid, “as luck would have it” there were two response team officers sat in stationary traffic nearby.

Da Silva and the teenager were seen running away and, despite jumping over two eight foot high walls, were caught hiding in a garden in Brooks Road by PC Greg Lee and PC Frankie MacNair.

They were arrested and found to be wearing the same clothing as the officer had described when he saw them at the station.

They were sentenced to four years and two years imprisonment at Inner London Crown Court on Wednesday.

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DCI Alan Moore, of the Serious Acquisitive Crime Unit, said: “These two street robbers targeted local residents as they went about their daily lives. Robbery is a serious crime and we will pursue anyone who uses threats and force to steal from innocent members of the public.

“The judge who handed down the sentences last week made it clear that the youth only received a lesser sentence for his part in the attack due to his age.”

DC Marie McCabe from the Newham Robbery Squad used vital CCTV evidence which showed the offence taking place and the suspect’s distinctive clothing, which was identical to what they were wearing when they were arrested.

Da Silva pleaded not guilty to attempted robbery.