Teenage footballer jailed for robbing lone woman of £45,000 jewellery

Remy McLeod.

Remy McLeod. - Credit: Archant

A promising teenage footballer who was part of a gang of violent robbers targeting lone women at night for their expensive jewellery has been jailed for eight years.

Junior Cooper.

Junior Cooper. - Credit: Archant

Remy McLeod, 19, of no fixed abode, was one of up to four men who attacked a woman in Denning Close, St John’s Wood, ripping £45,000 worth of jewellery from her as she parked a Range Rover outside her home last December.

During the attack, the victim’s £25,000 Rolex watch was snatched, along with a pair of two-carat diamond earrings worth £20,000 - leaving her with a bleeding earlobe - before the robbers made off in a Mercedes sports car.

The robbery was part of a spree spearheaded by Junior Cooper, 35, of Bravington Road, Queen’s Park, who was jailed for nine years last month as the ringleader of a gang who robbed a woman outside her home in Aberdare Gardens, South Hampstead, on November 26 last year.

Cooper was also responsible for two robberies of lone women in Marylebone and St John’s Wood on November 15 last year.

Sentencing McLeod at Southwark Crown Court today, Judge Michael Grieve said: “You entered into a conspiracy. You went about it in a carefully planned manner, particularly in hiring a fast car in which you could cruise wealthy areas.

“On the facts of the case it seems clear to me that you were targeting women since you thought they would be less likely to resist and easy to overpower.”

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McLeod and his accomplices, who were all wearing hoodies and had their faces covered, attacked their victim as she arrived home with her maid at around 9.30pm on December 10.

Two of the gang charged at the Range Rover to rob the victim after the maid had exited the vehicle, while a third attacker wielding an eight inch knife warned off a workman constructing a dog kennel for the victim.

Having robbed the jewellery, the gang then ran out of Denning Close and into a car, which the workman said was driven by a waiting getaway driver towards Abbey Road.

Another witness claimed to have seen no getaway driver but took down the car’s licence plate which enabled the police to track down McLeod. There was no evidence to show exactly what part McLeod played in the robbery.

The teenager, described in court as a “very good and promising football player”, was arrested in Woodfield Road, Maida Vale, on January 10 and was found to be carrying a knife after a struggle with police officers.

He was convicted of conspiracy to rob at Southwark Crown Court on July 24 having previously admitted possessing the knife.

Today, he was sentenced to eight years in a young offenders institution for the conspiracy to rob charge and was told he must serve a further three years on licence after his release as he is deemed a “high risk to the public”.

McLeod, who was jailed for four-and-a-half years in 2011 for robbing £25,000 in cash box transfers from G4S security guards, will also serve six months concurrently for the knife possession charge.

Dashaun Nicholas, 19, of Bruckner Street, Queen’s Park, was found not guilty of conspiracy to rob on July 17 at Southwark Crown Court.

The case against a fourth man was discontinued.