A man from Harrow has been jailed for a robbery in Soho after Met detectives found DNA and CCTV that linked him to the crime.
Omed Azizi, 31, of Hargrave Drive, Harrow, was sentenced to six years and nine months’ imprisonment at Southwark Crown Court on Monday, 18 September.
He pleaded guilty to robbery at the same court on Monday, 3 July.
Detective Constable Harriet Barby, who led the investigation, said: “Azizi is a dangerous offender, who targeted a young man enjoying a night out with his friends in Soho. This type of behaviour is intolerable and the lasting impact that such an unprovoked and violent attack can have on a victim is huge.
“I am pleased that Azizi has received a custodial sentence. Hopefully this will offer the victim and his family some sense of justice.
“This is another example of officers working hard to take dangerous individuals off the streets of London. We are committed to tackling robbery within our communities and keeping Londoners safe.”
Shortly after 04:00hrs on Sunday, 30 April, police were called to a hotel in Richmond Mews after a man was found injured in the reception area.
Officers went to the hotel and found the man, aged in his 20s, had clearly been assaulted. He had gone to the hotel to ask for help and initially declined medical treatment, so officers arranged for him to be taken home.
The man, who had been out with friends in Soho that night, had no memory of what had happened to him and an investigation was launched to establish the circumstances of how he came to harm.
Detectives recovered CCTV from the area around the hotel which showed the man had been violently assaulted by two men in Richmond Mews, who were then seen running away from the scene.
The men had lured the victim to a quiet cul-de-sac, where they attacked him, stole his Rolex watch and three designer bracelets, along with his phone, bank cards and other jewellery.
Despite having CCTV of the men, their faces were not clear and officers needed to carry out further enquiries to identify the suspects.
Detectives tracked the movements of the two men to see where they had been before the assault had taken place and found footage that showed one of the men inhaling a balloon as he moved through Soho, leading the victim to the scene of the attack.
Further CCTV showed this man inhaling the balloon directly before the assault took place, and the discarded balloon was later recovered by detectives at the scene of where the crime took place.
The balloon was recovered and sent away for forensic testing. Azizi’s DNA was found and he was identified as a suspect. Analysis of phone data showed the victim’s phone had been used at a hotel in Marylebone in the hours after the attack.
Azizi was arrested and subsequently charged with robbery. As a result of the overwhelming evidence against him, he later pleaded guilty.
Detective Chief Inspector Scott Ware from the Central West BCU, who was also present at the sentencing hearing, said: “This was a complex investigation that required a huge amount of hours of CCTV footage to be reviewed.
“This outcome should act as a warning to anyone else thinking of committing such an offence, that we will do all we can to identify you and bring you to justice.”
Despite the extensive enquiries, the other man has not yet been identified. We are releasing two images of him and ask anyone who recognises him to call 101 quoting reference 6530451/23.