Moped muggers left woman in coma as they robbed her to buy vodka and ice cream

Two men have been jailed for 14 years after they attacked a woman leaving her with a bleed on the brain. James Hicks, 20, and Joshua Scales, 18, used a stolen moped to target their victim as she walked home from a Tube station last June.

Piruntha Palarasa, 25, had been listening to music on her headphones on her way from a day at the zoo when she was stalked down a residential street in Edgware, north London by the pair.

Prosecutor Louise Oakley said: ‘Miss Palarasa was at London Zoo with friends on June 4, 2018. At around 7pm she decided to make her way home.

‘She boarded the Northern line tube and got off at Burnt Oak station as she decided to complete her journey on foot because the weather was nice. ‘She removed her headphones from her ears. She remembers a moped coming towards her on the pavement with two males on it.

The driver, Joshua Scales, shouted at the pillion passenger James Hicks to “get off the bike and go get her phone”. ‘Hicks then tried to grab the telephone as the moped went past her. In her words, she describes the two males on the moped “hunting her down”.

She managed to keep hold of her handbag and mobile phone after Hicks and Scales but they took her bank card. They used it to buy a £29.99 bottle of vodka and £12.30 on food and ice cream.

Her attack came the same day that comedian Michael McIntyre was targeted by mobed robbers as he picked up his children from school. The two attacks are not believed to be linked. Following the attack it was feared that Piruntha may have suffered life-changing injuries but she made a remarkable recovery after spending three weeks in a coma.

She said she had to learn to walk and talk again and still suffers from double vision. Judge Rosa Dean said: ‘It is a very unpleasant feature of this case that you then both left her, an injured woman, lying on the road and Hicks within ten minutes you then without a care in the world were spending on her card.

‘Thank goodness others saw what was going on and came to help her because she needed urgent medical treatment.’ Hicks admitted another two robberies after threatening to stab a man and woman if they did not hand over their bags.

Scales admitted theft to stealing from a safe at his children’s home. Scales was jailed for six years and four months while Hicks was jailed for seven years and six months.