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Thug jailed

PUBLISHED: 14:33 18 January 2008 | UPDATED: 14:09 02 July 2010

A MUGGER who threatened to knife his victim as he grabbed his mobile phone was jailed for three years. Thomas O Neil, 30, of Stamford Road, Dagenham, told Bekim Osmani he would slice him off moments after being given a cigarette by the stranger. Snaresb

A MUGGER who threatened to knife his victim as he grabbed his mobile phone was jailed for three years.

Thomas O'Neil, 30, of Stamford Road, Dagenham, told Bekim Osmani he would 'slice him off' moments after being given a cigarette by the stranger.

Snaresbrook Crown Court heard that O'Neil was drunk when he pestered Mr Osmani in Winchester Road, Ilford, on February 27 last year.

When O'Neil saw Mr Osmani use his mobile he held a weapon to the victim and demanded the phone.

Judge John Lafferty told O'Neil: "The offence for which you were convicted at this court was a very grave offence.

"You decided to seize the opportunity of stealing that phone."

The court heard that O'Neil said to the victim: "Give me your mobile or I will slice you off."

Judge Lafferty said: "You chose to deny the charge of robbery and the jury rejected your defence. The only sentence that can be justified is one of immediate custody."

The court heard how O'Neil, who has a history of drug abuse, is the single father of a 10-year-old girl.

He has a string of convictions for offences including actual bodily harm, burglary and assaulting a police officer, going back to 1992.

O'Neil denied robbery but was convicted by the jury.

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