A moped thief who almost killed his friend as he sped around London stealing mobile phones from pedestrians has been jailed for seven years.
Harry Wright, 21, crashed head-on with a BMW as he drove a stolen Piaggio moped towards oncoming traffic on a one-way street, critically injuring his 18-year-old passenger.
The crash happened after Wright had toured the streets of Hackney and Islington on November 13 last year attempting to grab phones.
Wood Green crown court heard he carried out three snatches, in Upper Street, Essex Road and Kingsland Road, mounting the pavement and weaving through commuters during the morning rush-hour.
After an unsuccessful attempt to steal the fourth phone, Wright sped off in Tottenham Road, Dalston, at up to 50mph before hitting the BMW. When he was arrested police found a hunting knife hidden in his trousers.
Wright, of Canonbury, pleaded guilty in December to three counts of theft, possession of a bladed article, possession of class A and B drugs, and causing serious injury by dangerous driving.
Detective Constable Ben Kahane, from Hackney CID, said afterward: “Harry Wright almost killed his friend for the sake of stealing a few mobile phones… it was pure luck that he didn’t hurt or kill any innocent pedestrians.