Knife-wielding thug pleads guilty to spate of Havering robberies and Ilford burglary

Ross Dawson. Photo: Met Police

Ross Dawson. Photo: Met Police - Credit: Archant

A knife-wielding thug who carried out a string of violent robberies in Havering and a burglary in Ilford is due to be sentenced today (August 17).

Ross Dawson, 32, of no fixed address, is due to appear at Snaresbrook Crown Court after pleading guilty to three counts of robbery and one aggravated burglary at previous hearings.

The court heard how Dawson used a knife to threaten his victims - including an 84-year-old woman - stealing money and cars.

On July 4 last year, Dawson punched a cab driver in the face before dragging him from his car and then threatening him with a knife in an attempt to steal his vehicle in Upminster.

The cab driver had collected Dawson and an unknown woman from Crow Lane, Romford.

Dawson demanded the victim to stop the vehicle while along St Mary’s Lane - claiming the woman was his wife and that she felt sick due to pregnancy - before launching his assault.

As the driver lay helpless on the floor, Dawson held a knife to his throat and demanded the car key.

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But the key broke during the struggle and so, was unable to start the car, Dawson and the woman to make of on foot when.

On July 15 last year, a 61-year-old mini cab driver feared for his life as Dawson robbed him of his wallet and driver’s ID at knife-point in Romford.

The incident began as Dawson asked to be taken to Crow Lane, Romford, and the driver requested payment upfront.

Dawson then offered his phone as surety, but the victim declined.

At this point Dawson threatened the victim with a knife and demanded money.

The victim handed over his wallet and Dawson then demanded the chain around the victim’s neck, which was only his driver’s ID.

The incident was recorded on the driver’s dash-cam.

On July 22 last year, Dawson stole an 84-year-old woman’s car with the help of 15-year-old who also posed as his pregnant wife.

He asked the pensioner for a lift to the hospital as she sat in her car outside her Romford home, claiming his alleged wife felt sick.

But, after forcing the woman to stop on a secluded road, Dawson pushed her out of the car and sped off from the scene.

He ditched his 15-year-old accomplice, who was discovered to be carrying an eight-inch kitchen knife in her handbag after being arrested by police.

The incident was recorded on the dash-cam of a member of the public who pulled up behind the car.

On August 3, Dawson knocked a 30-year-old woman unconscious while placing her in a headlock in her own home, in Ilford, during a burglary.

The incident started after Dawson’s 15-year-old accomplice rang the woman’s doorbell.

The woman, knowing the girl, let her in.

The victim then heard the girl go to her front door and, moments later, found herself confronted with Dawson and another white man, referred to as John.

John held a knife to her throat and demanded to where her valuables were.

Dawson then went behind the victim and put his right arm over her right shoulder and put her in a headlock.

She told police, who were called at 7.01pm, that she thought she was going to die as he squeezed her neck.

Dawson was identified and arrested on the 3 August 2017 and subsequently charged with the above offences.

At the time of the offences he was wanted on a recall to prison, having failed to comply with the conditions of this release.

His 15-year-old accomplice pleaded guilty to possession of a pointed and bladed article at Youth Court in October 2017.