"Prolific drug addicted offender" jailed after stealing money from children (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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Steven Harris demanded cash and threatened violence near South Woodford Cricket Club
A “prolific drug addicted offender” who threatened and stole money from children has been jailed, police announced yesterday.
Steven Harris, 41, of Marston Road, Ilford, approached two terrified boys, aged 16 and 17, in a park at 5.20pm on June 16 demanding cash and threatening violence, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard.
After stealing £10 from the boys Harris made his exit from park land close to South Woodford Cricket Club in Highfield Road, Woodford.
Investigations by Ilford police led them to Harris, who was known to officers as part of Operation Topple, a Met initiative targeting “most harmful” criminals.
Harris was arrested on June 20 and charged with robbery.
He was found guilty on Wednesday of one count of robbery and sentenced to 12 months imprisonment.
Detective Inspector Craig Robinson from Ilford Police said: “Harris is a prolific drug addicted offender, who has rightly been targeted because of his offending.
“This offence - stealing money from children - shows the lengths that addicts will go to feed their habit and has resulted in this term of imprisonment.
“I would urge anybody with an addiction, to seek treatment rather than turn to crime".