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Two men convicted of falsely accusing two teenagers of robbery in Hackney

News   •   May 20, 2019 14:13 BST

[Alves and Sher]

Two men have been convicted of falsely accusing two teenagers of robbery in Stamford Hill.

Thiago Alves, 38 (02.11.80) of Pretoria Road, N18 had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to perverting the course of justice.

Michael Scher, 32 (19.03.87) of Amhurst Park, N16, had also pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice on the first day of his trial at Wood Green Crown Court, on Wednesday, 15 May.

An offence of false imprisonment was left to lie on the file.

Today, Monday 20 May, at Wood Green Crown Court Alves was sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment and Scher was sentenced to five months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years.

Yaakov Nowogrodski, 27 (03.10.91) of Fairholt Road, N16, was also charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and false imprisonment. He failed to attend court and a warrant has been issued for his arrest.

The court heard how on Monday, 3 July 2017, at about 20:40hrs, police received a number of calls stating that two juveniles had been detained for robbery in the Stamford Hill area by members of the Shomrim, a community neighbourhood watch scheme that patrols areas of London.

On arrival, allegations were made to the officers that the two youths, who were found to be aged 13 and 15, had attempted to rob Alves of his moped. It was claimed they surrounded Alves, demanded his moped keys and pushed him.

Alves, a delivery driver, along with Scher and Nowogrodski, both members of Shomrim, later made sworn statements to investigating officers in which they supported these allegations.

As a result, the youths were arrested at the scene and taken to a police station. The two boys, who were both of previous good character, were kept in police custody for 16 hours.

However, detectives investigating the allegations were making further enquires and were able to locate CCTV of the incident which completely disproved the story.

The boys were not near Alves, had certainly not pushed him and had made no attempt to steal his moped. They were released and an investigation began into a possible conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

Alves was arrested on Thursday, 6 July 2017 and Scher and Nowogrodski on 12 July. All were subsequently charged.

Nowogrodski, charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and false imprisonment, was subsequently found to have fled abroad and a warrant for his arrest has been issued.

Officers from the Central East Command Unit investigated. Detective Sergeant James Leeks said: “The officers who attended that night acted in good faith, but were deceived by a deliberate criminal conspiracy. It is regrettable, that as a result, two young men were arrested and detained. Their arrest and loss of liberty would have been traumatic for both them and their families.

“Thankfully the investigating officers were able to locate CCTV evidence that exonerated these young men them and they were released, but the consequences if the officers had not been so diligent could have been a gross miscarriage of justice.

“Why these men decided to fabricate this case may never be explained. However, abusing the criminal justice system in such an underhand manner is disgraceful. Those responsible for this despicable deception will now have to face the consequences of their actions.”