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

10:30

The headteacher of a private school believes that sport in school should be used to engage the majority rather than burnish the few amidst reports that not enough young people are doing enough exercise each week.

07:00

Simon Happily is an award-winning comedian who comperes the annual Pup Aid event in Primrose Hill and hosts his fun weekly pub quiz at the Lord Palmerston (Dartmouth Park Hill) every Tuesday at 8.15pm. He has appeared on television including Richard & Judy and The Big Breakfast on Channel 4 and has hosted comedy as various festivals, including London Mardi Gras. Simon lives in Belsize Park with his rescue dog Teddy. You can follow him on Twitter @SimonHappily.

Yesterday, 19:06

A petition to save the number 13 bus route has been handed to City Hall by Hampstead and Kilburn Labour Party campaigners - setting up local members for a clash with Mayor Sadiq Khan, who has the final say on proposed changes.

Yesterday, 18:00

A church community centre is considering stepping up security after its post office was raided for the second time this year.

Yesterday, 15:00

Sadiq Khan will carry out a wide-reaching inquiry into foreign companies buying property in the capital - amid concern the flood of investment has fuelled rocketing house prices in local boroughs.

Yesterday, 13:06

The Ham and High can today reveal the filthiest local restaurants and takeaways which officials say need “urgent improvement”

Yesterday, 13:00

A police officer will not face criminal charges after being filmed repeatedly striking a man with his baton during an arrest even though the police watchdog found he has a case to answer.

Yesterday, 11:38

Firearms officers raced to Prince of Wales Road in Kentish Town on Thursday evening to reports a man had been gunned down.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Interested in purchasing a flat and want to know the rules, rights and regulations as a leaseholder? Or maybe you are already a leaseholder and want to find out more about extending your lease?

Scores of people visited the opening of Composite Door Master’s first public showroom in Hayes at the weekend, where they were treated to a spectacular show by award winning magician, Marc Oberon.

You’ve got cash, you’ve got style and you’ve got a bursting social calendar, but no time. These Crouch End studio suites to rent could be your dream come true.

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

Competitions

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

As we grow older it becomes more and more important to have means to travel about safely and quickly. Our friendship groups and families grow and the need to have a car that is not only safe but also fast and big enough for all our needs is ever more important. There are many cars on the market for such needs but none deals with them as efficiently or as neatly as a VW Golf Estate. These cars are build strong, long lasting and spacious for a reason. They cater to the needs of many and are some of the most popular cars currently on the market.

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