Two jailed for stealing watch from Canadian tourist in West End

Mohammed Ababsa (Met Police)
Mohammed Ababsa (Met Police)

Two men have been jailed after stealing a watch from a Canadian tourist in the West End.

Mohammed Ababsa, 38, and Achraf Hammouth, 26, both pleaded guilty to robbery at Southwark Crown Court on Friday.

The judge sentenced Ababsa to two years and eight months imprisonment. Hammouth was sentenced to two years and three months imprisonment. Both were also sentenced to pay a victim surcharge of £228 each.

The victim left a bar on Wardour Street and began walking back to his hotel on Friday, September 15.

The two suspects approached him from behind on Shaftesbury Avenue and barged into him from both sides – as they did this, one of them took his watch from his wrist before running away toward Old Compton Street.

Achraf Hammouth (Met Police)
Achraf Hammouth (Met Police)

As the victim chased the suspects, he called police and following a search by officers of the surrounding streets, both suspects were detained.

They were taken to west London police stations and charged on the same day.

Detective Constable Dalila Gomes investigating said: “The Canadian victim was a former soldier, he had travelled the world in his professional career and the watch, that had great sentimental value, had travelled with him.

“The defendants have let down the people of London who value tourism and the contribution it makes to our vibrant city. Their callous and cowardly actions toward a visitor to our capital has, quite rightly, cost them their freedom.

“It saddens me that the watch was not recovered – I sincerely hope that the sentences handed down bring the victim some satisfaction.”