Zimbabwean mother victim to a prolific teenage thief

Daniel Squires, 18, of Foundry Mill Terrace, Killingbeck, who asked for 69 other offences, mainly thefts and burglaries, to be taken into account attacked student nurse Domisile Mpunzi as she pushed her 11-week-old son Jude in his pram. As Squires tried to snatch Ms Mpunzi’s handbag the pram rolled forward into the road.

The 35-year-old mum managed to snatch her son from danger. Squires today began a four-year sentence after Leeds Crown Court was told of the robbery in Hansby Drive, Seacroft, Leeds, on July 1.

Ms Mpunzi, was attacked as she left a medical centre on Hansby Drive, Seacroft, Leeds. Squires barged into her causing her to momentarily release her grip on the pram which began to roll away.

As the pram rolled forward towards the road, Squires’ 17-year-old accomplice – who can not be named for legal reasons – grabbed the woman’s handbag from the pram and they both ran off, leaving the pram with the baby boy tipped on its side in the edge of the road.

"I had been returning from the medical centre when it happened. It was terrifying experience – nothing has ever happened like it to me before either in England or back in Zimbabwe," said Ms Mpunzi, who also has a son aged 11 and a daughter.

"I had no chance of chasing after the robbers, they were much too young and fast and my baby was my priority. I ran and managed to grab the pram from the road otherwise it could have been fatal for Jude."

The following day police searching the area and found Ms Mpunzi’s handbag which still contained some bank cards and other personal property, but her mobile phone, purse and cash had been taken.

A forensic examination of the bag led police to link Squires and his accomplice to the robbery. They both pleaded guilty to the offence. The 17-year-old is due to be sentenced in October.

Det Sgt Marcus Dawson of North East Leeds CID who led the investigation, said: "This was a cowardly and premeditated attack by two young men on a lone woman and her baby.The potential consequences of their actions could have been severe as the pram containing the baby was tipped over and left in the edge of the road.

"The sentence reflects the severity of this incident and should serve as a notice of how street robberies like this will not be tolerated and how we will pursue, arrest and bring those responsible before the courts." – Yorkshire Evening Post