A man who stole a Rolex watch from an elderly Jewish man was restrained by a group of three Jewish boys who thwarted the attack last August, a court heard this week.
Mohamed Bin-Ali, 23, pleaded guilty to robbery after he was caught by 27-year-old witness Oliver Gee shortly after the attack near St John’s Wood.
Victim, Malcolm Gee, 75, who is not related to Oliver Gee, described the attack at the trial of Sayed Mohammed Al Hajli, 31, who was with Bin-Ali at the time of the offence. Mr Al Hajli was found not guilty at Southwark Crown Court.
Malcolm Gee, who recently made aliyah, said he was asked for directions to Abbey Road before Bin-Ali “turned back and said ‘I must thank you’. As soon as he grabbed my right hand, and it wasn’t a handshake at all, I realised I was in trouble.”
Mr Gee, who returned from Israel for the case, said that Bin-Ali was “pulling” the silver watch so forcefully that he immediately “saw all the abrasions and blood coming from my wrist.”
Oliver Gee, a Golders Green resident, told the JC: “I was driving down the Edgware Road with two friends and we saw what looked like a mugging or fighting going on. I just did a U-turn, cut across the kerb and burst my tyre — I just wanted to get to the guy.
“As we pulled up, the two guys started running away and we chased them. Two other men also spotted them, and chased them back to our direction.
“I just grabbed one of them, pushed him to the ground and put my knee into his back. The police arrived shortly after”.
Bin-Ali, who remains in custody, has not yet received a date for sentencing.