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

Dr Giuseppe Mazza is taking part in pioneering research

Doctors have demonstrated “scaffolds” created from donor livers can be filled with liver cells from patients and used to create new organs

Fri, 16:46
St Pancras Hospital, where Camden and Islington Trust is based. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Health chiefs are taking action at the Royal Free Hospital after inspectors found ‘ligature points’ that could help patients kill or harm themselves

Fri, 12:54
Alamin, Shalim and Khaled Kazi (l to r)

Three members of a Camden family have been jailed for being part of an organised moped gang responsible for a “prolific” crime spree across London.

Thu, 18:00
Activists Dr Wolfgang Kieran and Chris Roche hand petition to Catherine West MP, who supports their campaign. Photo: Nigel Sutton

Activists say the library must stay in its Grade II-listed building – but Haringey Council’s choice is to move the service to the site of the former Green Man pub on Muswell Hill

Thu, 17:32
Jude Rogers impressed Tim Peake on board the International Space Station

An entrepeneurial pupil had his film broadcast to Tim Peake on the International Space Station – and was invited to Downing Street to welcome the astronaut home.

Thu, 11:25
A Highgate resident believes this unwelcome visitor may have beeen attracted by overflowing bins

Nearly half of Camden residents face having their weekly rubbish collections reduced to fortnightly from next April under radical proposals designed to save the council £5 million and “incentivise recycling”.

Two diners were injured in the accident involving an unmarked police car   pictures: Emily Banks

Diners at Pizza East restaurant in Highgate Road were injured when an unmarked police car on an emergency call was in collision with another car .

Mon, 18:35
Geography teacher Kato Harris wept as a jury cleared him of all charges

A Geography teacher has told of the “massive stress” of being accused of repeatedly raping a 14-year-old pupil in the classroom of his Camden school.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

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

Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate that one lucky winner will receive four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All runners up will get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

£15k prize bundle

Imagine having the opportunity to win an incredible £15,000 bundle of some of the most amazing prizes available. Well, for one lucky contest entrant that dream could soon become a reality because we at MyOffers are offering an incredible free prize bundle that will make even the most hardened person wild with excitement.

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