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Schoolgirl tried to fight off bike thieves

Two men punched a teenage girl and stole her bike but not before she swung her helmet at them and tried to fight them off.

Christopher Parris, 27, and Julian Washington, 22, accosted 18-year-old Sharifa Crockwell around 10.30pm on The Glebe Road, Pembroke.

Prosecutor Larissa Burgess told Magistrate Khamisi Tokunbo the teenager stopped her orange Yamaha motorcycle to receive a phone call when another bike with two men on it stopped alongside her.

Parris, who the victim had known as “Chris” since last summer, told her: “Get off your bike”. Ms Crockwell, who is a student, flipped up the visor of her helmet and told him “I’m a girl.”

Parris reportedly replied: “So what, I don’t give a f**ck. Get off the bike.”

Washington had his helmet visor down, concealing his face. Both men jumped off their bike, and pulled Ms Crockwell off her motorcycle.

Washington tried to ride off with her bike, but it was in second gear, so Ms Crockwell ran towards him and swung her bike helmet at him.

The visor of his helmet flipped up, and she recognised him as “Julian,” a man she has known for four years.

“The complainant’s helmet struck Julian’s helmet and this caused him to drop the complainant’s cycle,” said Ms Burgess. “During this time, Chris was standing behind the complainant. Julian picked her cycle up off the ground and gassed her cycle at her.

“The complainant swung her helmet at Julian again. This caused Chris to grab her shirt and she attempted to swing her helmet at him. Chris was still holding on to her shirt.”

According to the prosecutor, Parris told the victim: “I don’t like hitting girls, but I would hit a girl tonight.”

She replied: “Do what you have to do ‘cos I ain’t letting him take my bike.”

Parris then punched her in the face and stomach, while Washington ran over and punched her in the body.

Washington then rode off on her bike. Parris gripped her until Ms Crockwell managed to push his hand away, and then he made off on his own bike.

Ms Crockwell needed hospital treatment for bruising to her face and abdominal wall.

Ms Burgess told Mr Tokunbo that police on patrol in nearby St Monica’s Road arrested Parris immediately after the incident on May 22.

He denied the crime when he was interviewed. Ms Crockwell got her bike back two days later although the prosecutor did not explain how.

Washington was arrested that same day after a brief police chase, and also denied the crime.

The victim identified both men during identification parade, and they were charged with robbery and remanded into custody. They pleaded guilty yesterday, and both have previous criminal convictions.

Parris told the Magistrate: “It was simply a case of road rage. It’s not like we set out to do a robbery.”

He claimed he and Washington were on their way back from a grocery store when Ms Crockwell “cut us off” on her bike.

He added: “The assault is all fabricated. She did get off her bike and say a couple of things. That’s where it all stopped. We ran off with her bike.”

He told the Magistrate that he and Washington returned Ms Crockwell’s bike the next day.

Looking over at the slightly-built victim, who was in the public gallery at court, he added: “I do want to apologise to the young lady and to her family that’s not my character at all.”

Ms Crockwell replied: “I accept your apology, but you know what happened.”

Mr Washington also apologised, telling her: “I’m sorry for my wrongdoings.”

She replied: “Accepted.”–Mr Tokunbo adjourned the case for pre-sentence reports and remanded the men into custody, having rejected a request for bail from Parris’s lawyer, Larry Mussenden.

“It’s a case that is a very unpleasant case. Two guys; a cowardly attack, robbing a female at night, then physically using violence,” said Mr Tokunbo.

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Published August 31, 2011 at 10:33 am (Updated August 31, 2011 at 10:32 am)

Schoolgirl tried to fight off bike thieves

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