Search

Pianist’s life passion stolen after gang break finger in violent Camden mugging

07:00 28 August 2014

Victim Susanne Suhonen, whose face we have blurred to protect her identity.

Victim Susanne Suhonen, whose face we have blurred to protect her identity.

Archant

A keen amateur pianist whose finger was broken in a violent robbery outside her home faces the prospect of never being able to play properly again, after one of her attackers was jailed for nine years.

Junior Cooper.Junior Cooper.

Susanne Suhonen, who describes playing piano as her “great passion in life”, was set upon by two men at around 11pm on November 26 last year after parking outside her home in Aberdare Gardens, South Hampstead, having returned from a piano lesson.

One of the men grabbed her neck while the other snatched her handbag, dragging her to the ground and breaking her finger in the process, before making off in a waiting vehicle with £3,000 worth of valuables inside the handbag.

On Tuesday, Junior Cooper, 35, of Bravington Road, Queen’s Park, was sentenced to nine years in prison for the attack and two other robberies in Westminster.

His accomplice Remy McLeod, 19, of no fixed abode, will be sentenced for his part in the robbery spree on September 8.

Former management consultant Mrs Suhonen, who has recently made a career move into recruitment, described her attackers as “disgraceful”.

She said: “The longer they’re away from the streets threatening innocent people, the better. They were cowards – two men jumping on a lonely woman – it’s disgraceful.

“They left my finger crooked and I’ll never be able to play piano the same way again, a great passion in my life. And I’ll always have the memory of what happened to me.

“I remember that day, those two individuals running towards me looking terrifying and them putting their hands over my mouth because I was screaming so loudly.

“They dragged me along the street so hard, it left holes in my trousers.”

Cooper, who was locked up in 2009 for a spate of robberies, was described in court as the leader of a gang of robbers who choked their victims in three violent attacks.

He drove the gang around in a stolen Audi, seeking out vulnerable women.

On November 15, the gang targeted a woman in Marylebone parking her car and then attempted to steal a handbag from another woman half an hour later in St John’s Wood.

Judge Michael Grieve said while sentencing Cooper: “Extreme planning was involved in all the robberies; women on their own likely to have valuable goods were targeted.”

Cooper, who has a history of crack cocaine abuse, was jailed for nine years after being found guilty in July of conspiracy to rob.

He was on licence at the time of the offences, and will serve the remaining three years of his 2009 sentence concurrently.

McLeod pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rob in July.

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 22:38

In a deeply moving show of community around 200 Hampstead mums and dads with buggies, friends and family joined our march through central London today for the release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

Yesterday, 17:00

A driver managed to flip a car on its back near the pavement just by Regent’s Park

Yesterday, 13:07

Read a Hampstead resident’s letter which will be delivered to Downing Street and the Foreign Office by Hampstead parents today to reach the Grand Ayatollah

Yesterday, 12:34

As Hampstead parents march on Downing Street today to call for Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s release from Iran, editor Emily Banks explains why the Ham&High stand behind them

Around 200 mothers, fathers and children, are calling for Prime Minister Theresa May and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to take action

Yesterday, 11:24

Detectives have released CCTV footage and images after an elderly woman was injured in a robbery in East Finchley

Yesterday, 10:19

As parents set off to march on Downing Street for Nazanin, green-fingered residents have planted a Belsize Park garden for Nazanin

Friday, December 2, 2016

Police are appealing for witnesses after the death of a woman who was hit by a coach in Camden.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now