Violent gang of robbers jailed after attacks on cyclists on the Bristol to Bath Railway Path
(Medeshi)- A gang of violent robbers who targeted cyclists on the Bristol to Bath Railway Path have been jailed.
The three men punched and kicked innocent park users, knocking some off their bikes, in a bid to steal phones and wallets.
Guleed Mahad Ali, Ahmed Saed and Guled Osman Ali, all aged 20, were locked up for 30 months after pleading guilty to a spate of robberies and attempts on the popular cycle and pedestrian route in February.
Bristol Crown Court heard the gang would form a triangle shape on the route and grab or punch the surprised cyclist or walker as they tried to pass.
Prosecutor Gregory Gordon said Guled Osman repeatedly kicked female jogger Najma Mahmood in the face on February 2, this year in order to get her phone.
He told the court she was attacked by three Somali men during the robbery and identified Guled Osman of Freemantle Road, Eastville in a line up.
Meanwhile Guleed Mahad of Robinson Drive, Easton was found in possession of cyclist Andrew Hazlewood's phone after he was 'circled' by three men, who grabbed him to the ground and took his wallet and the device.
Additional police officers were put on patrol on the path and in Riverside Park after the attacks and users were warned to be vigilant.
Mr Gordon told the judge that in around four hours on one night the gang robbed or attempted to rob four men on bikes.
Some were punched in the face as they cycled while others were grabbed on February 17, this year.
Some fortunately got away and two of them managed to find a PCSO nearby which led to the men's arrests.
Judge Alastair McGrigor said the men had formed a pack to commit the robberies.
He told them: "Each one of the defendants seems to indicate he was the sheep being led.
"It appears you were all endeavouring to lay the majority of the blame on others.
"I cannot separate your behaviour and you were all in together. It would be wrong to draw out a ring leader - you all acted as a pack.
"The robberies were extremely serious and frightening for the victims involved."
All three pleaded guilty to two counts of robbery and three charges of assault with intent to rob.
The pleas refer to eight different robberies or attempts in February.
Guleed Mahad pleaded guilty to a further third count of robbery.
Vedrana Pehar, defending for unemployed Guleed Mahad, said he accepted he had behaved in an atrocious way and he was ashamed of himself.
She said after attending college he had found himself with negative influences and turned to alcohol.
Ramin Pakrooh for Guled Osman said his client had come to the UK aged nine and speaking no English, but had managed to obtain good A level results in math, chemistry and ICT.
Tara Wolfe said Ahmed Saed of Emerson Square, Horfield, had also come to the UK at the same age and had come from a supportive family.
She said the warehouse worker in Avonmouth presented himself as an "impressionable and naive young man" and had lost his job just prior to the crimes.
Avon and Somerset police were unable to provide the Bristol Post with pictures of the three jailed men.
L_Churchill , Bristol Post.