Police track down pregnant woman’s Tube muggers... but CPS won’t prosecute

Martin Bentham
·4-min read
 (Natasha Porter)
(Natasha Porter)

A charity boss who was mugged on a Tube train while pregnant in a crime caught on CCTV has expressed her dismay after prosecutors decided not to charge her four attackers.

Natasha Porter was five months pregnant and travelling towards Wembley Central when she was attacked by four teenagers who laughed at her as she pleaded with them to give her phone back.

She said that British Transport Policeofficers had performed like “heroes” in tracking down and arresting her muggers and sending a file of evidence to the Crown Prosecution setting out the details of their role in the robbery.

But she has been left “pretty disappointed” after being told that the four will not be taken to court after all and instead are being let off with no charges brought.

Ms Porter, whose charity Unlocked Graduates trains university educated young people to work as prison officers, said the failure to pursue the case was even “worse” because she had wanted the teenagers to hear face to face how she as a victim had felt about the mugging.

Watch: TikToker shares easy way to help pregnant women feel more comfortable

The incident will raise renewed concern about the failure of prosecutors to pursue cases amid official figures showing that a record low proportion of fewer than 10 per cent of offenders nationwide are being brought to justice.

Ms Porter tweeted: “Pretty disappointed to hear today, after a 15 month wait, that the boys who robbed me when I was pregnant, laughing at me as I wept and begged them to give my phone back, won’t be taken to court. This is despite the whole thing being on camera and some sterling work by @BTPLondon.

“I didn’t want a particular outcome other than wanting them to hear how I felt as a victim so they might think about those consequences if thinking about doing similar in future.”

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Ms Porter said that she was felt particularly let down because she had agreed to “restorative justice” in which she would have met the teenagers to discuss with them the impact of their offending on her. The idea is supported by many in the criminal justice world as way of encouraging offenders to reform by confronting them with the personal harm caused by their crimes.

Ms Porter said she had been “pleasantly surprised to be offered it as an option” and that because it would not now take place it “almost makes it worse that the whole thing has come to such an unsatisfactory close.”

A British Transport Police spokeswoman confirmed that no charges were being brought despite its officers spending months compiling evidence against the suspects. It said this was the result of a decision by the Crown Prosecution Service and that it would help Ms Porter if she wanted this to be reviewed.

“On 30 October 2019 BTP received a report of a robbery on an Underground train travelling towards Wembley Central. Officers quickly attended and conducted an area search,” the spokeswoman said.

“They identified the train involved and stopped four young men who were all arrested on suspicion of robbery and taken to police custody for questioning.

“In the months that followed detectives worked to gather evidence which included witness statements and CCTV, before presenting a file to the Crown Prosecution Service. The CPS have decided that no further action is to be taken against the four young men in relation to this incident.

“We appreciate this will be disappointing news for the victim, and a chief officer has made contact with her in order to review the case and discuss how we can support her with any appeal she wishes to make.”

The latest developments follow a series of tweets from Ms Porter shortly after her mugging on 30 October 2019 in which she revealed the traumatic impact of the crime.

“I was mugged this evening on the tube,” she tweeted. “I am 5 months pregnant and very recently off bedrest, but decided to give chase. Sadly they got away.

“@BTPLondon gave chase, found the tube they had run onto, caught them redhanded, arrested them, and even dropped me home. Absolute HEROES!”

She later tweeted an “update” saying: “@BTP were not just heroes on the day - the support they’ve provided in the aftermath has been incredible. Thankfully my baby and I were both unharmed.”

A CPS spokesman said: “After reviewing this case and all the available evidence carefully, we concluded that it is not appropriate to commence proceedings.

“We understand this decision is upsetting for the complainant, but the reasons why this is so is being communicated to her.”

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