A gang of teenage robbers who went on a five-day rampage across east London has been jailed for more than 43 years in total.
The attacks were carried out last March by Yusuf Akram, 18, Usamah Aftab, 18, Hamza Jawed, 17, Mohamed Ibrahim Ali, 18, and Thamid Rahman, 17. They targeted the areas of Newham and Tower Hamlets and went after lone men at night, blitz-attacking them with a baseball bat and robbing them for as little as an Oyster card.
One attack in Creighton Avenue, East Ham, was caught on CCTV and shows how a 36-year-old man was brutally attacked, leading him to suffer several facial fractures and internal bleeding in the brain, Snaresbrook Crown Court was told.
The man was kept in hospital for four weeks and remains unwell.
Detective Chief Inspector Jamie Piscopo, of the Homicide and Major Crime Command, said he believed the group would have killed people had the attacks continued.
He said: “These were serious acts of violence and a clear example of a gang going on the rampage. I honestly believe they would have continued and eventually killed someone if they had not been apprehended.
“One victim pretended to be dead in a desperate attempt to get the gang to cease their unrelenting attack.”
The group carried out eight attacks before they were identified and arrested through CCTV footage, DNA from victims found on their clothing and an eyewitness.
A sixth man alleged to have been involved in the attacks will appear at a hearing in April, where it will be decided if he is fit to stand trial.