Jail For Duo Who Robbed Train Passengers

One theft took place on line to Wimbledon

Two men who robbed a train passenger between Stoneleigh and Wimbledon, making him fear one of them had a knife, have both been jailed.

Darren Mead (pictured bottom right), aged 20, from Brockley, South East London, has been jailed for four years and Nicholas Pidden (top right), 19, from Heybrook Bay, Devon, for three-and-a-half years.

Kingston Crown court heard that the pair were also involved in another robbery, on a train between Guildford and Weybridge.

The incident which took place as a train approached Wimbledon involved the pair sitting near the victim, a 25-year-old from Clapham, before telling him to hand over his wallet.

Upon finding the wallet empty, Mead took out the victim's bank card and demanded his PIN, as well as his mobile phone, which were both handed over.

The victim was given the wallet back later, minus his bank card, and was threatened with violence if he contacted police.

Throughout the robbery Mead kept one hand inside his coat, leaving the victim to believe he had a knife. The victim later discovered £500 had been taken from his account.

British Transport Police detectives investigating the robbery, which took place at 9.15pm on Saturday April 18, 2009, seized CCTV footage and circulated the images of Mead and Pidden on police intelligence systems.

They were subsequently recognised and identified by an officer from the Metropolitan Police, who had dealt with them for a separate incident.

Mead voluntarily attended a police station, where he was arrested in connection with the incidents, while Pidden was later arrested outside the Job Centre in Plymouth.

The other incident took place at 11pm on Friday March 6, 2009, when just after Weybridge, the pair approached the victim, a 31-year-old from Guildford, and demanded money before showing him the blade of a knife. They then stole his mobile phone and £4.50 in change before threatening him with violence if he dared contact police.

DC Paula Eustace, of the BTP's Robbery Squad, said: "Mead and Pidden targeted the victims because they were vulnerable and afraid of being attacked if they didn’t comply.

"This type of behaviour is despicable and will always be met by zero tolerance from police.

"I would also like to pay tribute to the victims because despite being subjected to intimidating experiences they were still able to provide police with excellent descriptions of Mead and Pidden, helping officers to quickly identify them.

"We welcome the jail sentences handed down to them and hope it sends out a clear message about the consequences for those who think it is acceptable to target innocent people."

December 23, 2010