Jailed: Moped muggers who left woman, 25, in coma before buying ice cream and vodka

David Harding
Moped muggers Joshua Scales, 18, and James Hicks, 20 (SWNS)

A pair of moped muggers who left a young woman in a coma while using her bank card to buy ice cream and vodka have been jailed for a total of 14 years.

James Hicks, 20, and Joshua Scales, 18, carried out the robbery  on a stolen moped in June last year as their victim walked home from a tube station.

Hospital pharmacist Piruntha Palarasa was listening to music on headphones at around 9pm when she was ‘hunted down’ on a quiet residential street in Edgware, north London.

The 25-year-old bravely struggled to keep hold of her handbag and phone as the moped mounted the pavement and both thugs tried to grab her belongings.

Joshua Scales was described as ‘dangerous’ by the judge (SWNS)

Scales then punched her in the head causing her to fall onto the pavement and fracture her skull, Harrow Crown Court was told.

Prosecutor Louise Oakley told the court Miss Palarasa made a miraculous recovery after being kept in an induced coma for nearly three weeks.

Miss Palarasa said in a statement that she had to learn to walk and speak again after coming out of her induced coma and still suffers from nightmares and double vision for which she wears glasses. She previously had 20:20 vision.

Within 10 minutes of the attack, Hicks and Scales  were using her cards.

Sentencing them, Judge Rosa Dean said: ‘She was minding her own business listening to music on her phone and on a residential street and she – in her words – was hunted down by you both.

‘You both decided to go for her bag, pulling it even though she was shouting at you to get away. You were shouting at her to “give it up”.’

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The moped muggers both pleaded guilty with Hicks also admitting six counts of fraud relating to the use of her bank cards after the attack and Scales admitting to three.

Hicks also admitted two other robberies on May 25 last year.

Scales additionally admitted one count of theft relating to money stolen from a safe at his children’s home on May 11 and possession of cannabis when he was arrested three days after the June 4 robbery.

James Hicks (SWNS)

CCTV of the incident shows Scales and Hicks passing by the woman before coming back around and mounting the pavement to chase her.

Scales, of Newham, east London, was handed an extended sentence after the judge ruled he was ‘dangerous’.

Judge Dean said: “It seems to me sadly that your behaviour has now been out of control for many years. Your criminal record is serious. Court orders in the past have had no control over you.”

He was jailed for a total of six years and four months with an extended licence period of three years.

Hicks, of no fixed address, was jailed for seven-and-a-half years.

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