Pickpocket Banned From Tube

Local man stole from Underground passengers

A local pickpocket who stole from passengers has been banned from using the Tube for five years.

51year-old Leslie George of Woodford Court, Shepherd's Bush Green was given an anti-social behaviour order (ASBO) after pleading guilty to three counts of theft, when he appeared at Southwark Crown Court on Tuesday (December 8).

The charges relate to three incidents of theft on board Tube trains between May 2008 and April 2009. George committed the thefts by boarding a train, stealing from passengers and then jumping of the train again before it left the station.

The first offence occurred on Wednesday 28 May 2008 when a woman boarded a busy eastbound District line train at South Kensington Tube station and immediately felt pressure on her handbag. When she turned around she saw George, who had been standing near to her, holding the Tube doors open in order to leave the train before it moved forwards. As the train pulled out of the platform the victim realised that her purse had been stolen.

A separate incident occurred on Wednesday 23 July 2008 at Piccadilly Circus Tube station when a female victim was closely followed by George as she boarded a northbound Bakerloo line train. George then stole her purse out of her bag and once again jumped back off the train before it left the station.

British Transport Police Detective Constable John Swaysland said CCTV evidence placed George at the scene of each incident, the most recent of which took place on Saturday 11 April 2009:

“As the victim boarded a Piccadilly line train at Holborn she felt something pulling at her handbag. She saw a man quickly get off the train before it left the station and then realised that her purse was missing from her bag.

“After reviewing CCTV from Holborn we identified George as the man the footage showed boarding the train before jumping back off onto the platform.

“We then linked George to two similar theft offences that took place last year, and presented all the footage to him. Faced with this irrefutable evidence, he confessed to all three crimes.”

Mike Maynard, Head of Operational Support at London Underground said: “We’re glad that the CCTV on our network helped the British Transport Police identify George and bring him to justice. This sentence should remind criminals that the Underground is a hostile environment for them and we will get the footage we need to prosecute them.

“Whilst crime on our network is low and we have a number of measures in place to tackle it and reduce it further, nevertheless we would also encourage our passengers to keep their bags zipped up and to look after their belongings.”

Under the terms of his ASBO, which remains in effect for a period of five years, George has been prohibited from being in any part of the London Underground system, including any London Underground station and from travelling on any London Underground train. George is also required to attend a drugs rehabilitation programme.

11 December 2009