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Young Citizen: Heroic Nicole, 18, thwarts attempted mugging of school boy in Barkingside

PUBLISHED: 11:31 25 July 2018

Young Citizen nominee Nicole Constantinou.

Young Citizen nominee Nicole Constantinou.

Archant

A heroic 18-year-old ice cream shop assistant swooped into action to retrieve a school boy's phone from the clutches of masked muggers.

Nicole Constantinou, who works at Cookies and Cream, in High St, Barkingside has been nominated for The Recorder’s Young Citizen Award.

She was nominated by Chigwell resident Meliha Malik who witnessed her thwart an attempted mugging outside the ice cream shop on Wednesday, July 18.

“This young girl was the hero of the moment,” said the 49-year-old.

But added: “It shouldn’t fall to a teenage girl to have to stand up to six foot teenage lads.”

Still from CCTV footage appears to show a schoolboy being placed in a headlock by another teenager and watched closely by a second teenager who is topless and masked. Photo: Cookies & CreamStill from CCTV footage appears to show a schoolboy being placed in a headlock by another teenager and watched closely by a second teenager who is topless and masked. Photo: Cookies & Cream

The Recorder has seen CCTV footage showing a schoolboy being harassed by two teenagers, one of whom is shirtless with a bandana around his face, before Nicole steps in.

She said: “I was doing work and I saw a boy who had his arm around another little boy’s neck - it looked like he was getting attacked.

“I tried to push him off and he said ‘what are you doing?’”

She asked the little boy if he was okay and he said that one of the teenagers had stolen his phone.

CCTV Footage appears to show ice cream shop assistant Nicole Constantinou swoop into action. Photo: Cookies & CreamCCTV Footage appears to show ice cream shop assistant Nicole Constantinou swoop into action. Photo: Cookies & Cream

“[One of the teenagers] was threatening me and being rude to me,” she said, as she tried stand up for him.

Gradually she walked the boy from the ice cream shop towards the pet shop, pretending that he was her cousin.

The pet shop owners came out spoke to the perpetrators, who then returned to the phone to the boy before Nicole put him on a bus home.

Reacting to being nominated, Nicole said: “It’s really nice but I didn’t do it to be thanked or anything.”

“I’ve been in situations like that before.”

The Recorder/Redbridge Rotary Club Young Citizen Award is about celebrating the amazing young people in our borough.

It is run by the Recorder in conjunction with Redbridge Rotary Club, and sponsored by The Exchange shopping centre, Ilford, which provides each monthly winner with a £30 gift card. The Young Citizen of the Year will be crowned at the Mayor’s Community Awards.

You can nominate any person from Redbridge, as long as they are under 25, by emailing aaron.walawalkar@archant.co.uk.

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