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Hepatitis C robber jailed for gnawing man's fingers

PUBLISHED: 17:59 31 July 2008 | UPDATED: 15:16 07 September 2010

A CROUCH END robber infected with Hepatitis C who gnawed a man s fingers until he handed over his wallet has been jailed for five years. Jason Henry, 29, was hooked on crack cocaine when he followed Jie Zhang out of a bookmakers and grabbed him. When the

A CROUCH END robber infected with Hepatitis C who gnawed a man's fingers until he handed over his wallet has been jailed for five years.

Jason Henry, 29, was hooked on crack cocaine when he followed Jie Zhang out of a bookmakers and grabbed him.

When the Chinese national attempted to struggle, Henry told him: "If you don't give me your money, I will shoot you. I have a gun."

Henry, of Coolhurst Road, was not armed with a weapon. But he put Mr Zhang in a headlock and repeatedly bit his fingers until they bled.

Before the incident, Henry had tested positive for Hepatitis C.

He denied robbery but was convicted after a trial. He was sentenced at the Old Bailey on Monday.

Judge Mr Recorder Jeremy Gold QC said: "You firstly held him forcibly around the neck. Secondly, you bit his fingers and, thirdly, you threatened you had a gun in your possession.

"Mr Zhang continues to suffer the effects of being attacked in this way. It has affected his confidence in terms of going about his daily business."

Henry had followed his victim out of Ladbrokes in Lordship Lane, Wood Green, late on December 1 last year.

As Mr Zhang headed home, he realised someone was following him along a dimly lit side street, said prosecutor Paola Wilson.

"Mr Zhang shouted for help in Chinese but, unfortunately, he had been manhandled by the defendant who grabbed him around the neck by one arm," she said.

"A struggle ensued in which the defendant tried to take the wallet from his pocket.

"Mr Zhang resisted and his fingers were bitten so that he was bleeding quite heavily.

"At the time, it was clear the defendant was suffering from Hepatitis C - although that is something which the victim was unaware of."

Henry then stamped on his victim, swiped him across the face knocking his glasses off and fled with the wallet.

It contained up to £70, numerous bank cards and pictures of Mr Zhang's family.

He was later picked out at an identity parade.

Henry, also a haemophiliac, has a previous conviction for street robbery in 2001.

He had been a crack addict for several years and contracted Hepatitis C through a blood transfusion. He was awarded compensation for this but he blew it all on drugs, the court heard.

Jailing him, the judge said: "Unless you treat your problem with crack cocaine, we are going to see you back here time and time again and the sentences will get longer and longer.

"If you commit further offences of violence in the future, it is very difficult to see how a different judge would draw any other conclusion than that you are a serious risk to the public."

Henry was convicted of one count of robbery.

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