Jailed: Dagenham man for role in 'brutal' attack on off-duty police officer

Iraawoosan Alba, 31, of Fuller Road, Dagenham

Iraawoosan Alba, 31, of Fuller Road, Dagenham was jailed for six years for his role in the attack. - Credit: Met Police

A Dagenham man has been jailed for his involvement in a "chaotic, brutal and sustained” group attack and robbery of an off-duty police officer.

Iraawoosan Alba, 31, of Fuller Road, was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment at Harrow Crown Court on April 9.

He was one of five men jailed for a combined 24 years and seven months.

He is due to appear at Harrow Crown Court on July 21. Picture: Google Street View

Iraawoosan Alba and four other men involved were sentenced at Harrow Crown Court on April 9. - Credit: Archant

All five had pleaded guilty to violent disorder and two also pleaded guilty to robbery. A trial found the other three, including Alba, guilty of robbery.

Detective Inspector Gavin Collins, from the Met’s Operation Venice team, said: “The CCTV shows these men committing a chaotic, brutal and sustained attack on the victim and others who were present on the night.

“It is clear that these individuals wanted nothing more than to steal valuable possessions from the victim.

“The attackers acted purely on their desire to steal a valuable watch, and yet the incident resulted in many individuals being physically harmed, and many more onlookers having to witness a truly disturbing incident.”

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The off-duty officer had been at a bar in Rayners Lane, Harrow on November 17, 2019. He was aware of two men watching him earlier in the evening, but chose not to act on it.

As the officer left the bar about 3am, a man came up behind him and looped his arms around his neck, pulling him backwards and on to the pavement.

A group of about 12 people then rushed around the victim and began a frantic attack, smashing a glass bottle on his arm in the process.

One of the attackers snatched a chain from around the victim’s neck while another man punched him repeatedly until he handed over his watch.

A friend of the officer tried to intervene and help him, but was punched in the face and suffered significant injuries, including a broken nose and a fractured jaw.

A passer-by, who wasn’t known to either the victims or attackers, approached the group and was punched and knocked unconscious, falling into the road.

As a fourth man attempted to make his way through the crowd, the group turned their attention to him, pulling at his neck and throwing punches at him. The man managed to escape without suffering any injuries.

As the attackers left the scene, the officer realised his warrant card had been stolen along with his bank cards, driving licence and Oyster card.

He ran to a police station and reported the incident. The officer had suffered injuries including bruising to his ribs, back and shoulders, which had to be treated at hospital.

Det Insp Collins said: “The Met takes violence against victims and its officers extremely seriously.

“The group became aware that the victim was a police officer when they found his warrant card.

“They subsequently continued to rain blows down on the victim and committed further violence against others in the area, demonstrating their arrogance and total disregard for the fact that they were assaulting an emergency worker.”

Officers watched hours of CCTV and were able to identify five of the people involved.

They also placed vehicles belonging to three of the men at the scene, as well as mobile phone cell data showing they were in the area at the time of the attack.

On February 26, 2020, warrants were carried out at four addresses, resulting in four arrests.

During searches of the addresses, police found clothing matching the outfits the men were seen wearing in CCTV.

Another man was arrested in Essex the following day.

In a statement provided following the incident, the off-duty officer wrote that he continued to be vigilant around his personal security.

He said he was constantly looking over his shoulder, continued to feel pain from where he had been assaulted and lives in fear of suffering a similar attack.

Det Insp Collins said: “I hope that knowing this group of men will be spending a significant time in prison provides some reassurance to the victims and those who witnessed this awful incident."