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Southampton victim hunts down robber using Facebook
A TEENAGER used Facebook to track down a man who subjected him to a terrifying and degrading robbery.
The 16-year-old was threatened with a knife and being bitten by a dog, repeatedly beaten and told to strip as part of the horrific ordeal at the hands of two young men who then stole his moped and mobile phone.
But despite the harrowing robbery the youngster turned detective and managed to trace one of his attackers through the social networking site. He then handed the details to police who promptly arrested Talhabaig Mirza.
His accomplice – described as the ringleader – has not been traced and police are appealing for help finding him.
At Southampton Crown Court 17-year-old Mirza pleaded guilty to robbery and was sent to a young offenders institution for two years and two months.
The court heard from prosecutor Siobhan Linsley, who said the victim had been riding his moped through Southampton’s Northam estate at 9.20pm on July 21 when he stopped by football pitches at the community centre. He was texting on his phone when he was approached by Mirza and another man who told him to take off his riding helmet, as he did so his phone and keys to his bike were taken.
What followed was a sustained attack that included the teenager being grabbed, pulled off his bike and punched.
The victim told police Mirza had punched him in the face “as hard as he could” before being ordered to his knees.
Despite pleading for the attack to stop the victim was then kneed in the face twice by Mirza, who himself was only 16 when he carried out the attack.
Mirza’s accomplice, who it was accepted was ‘the ringleader’ in the robbery, then pulled out a 12in kitchen knife which he pushed against the chest of the teenage victim before handing it over to Mirza who did the same.
Ms Linsley said: “At this stage the victim was told to remove his clothes.”
She added the pair then photographed the victim on his own phone before goading a dog they had to bite him. The pair then “touched fists to say goodbye” before leaving.
The victim fled to a friend’s house who called the police. Miss Linsley said the victim thought he recognised Mirza and managed to identify him through friends on Facebook.
Mitigating for Mirza, of Howell Close, Southampton, Sarah Jones said the episode was wholly out of character for Mirza who was under the influence of the other older man.
“It is very difficult to be a young person on this estate.”
In jailing Mirza Judge Peter Henry described the robbery as “the gratuitous degradation of a young man”.
DETECTIVES today issued a plea for help from the community to trace another man they want to speak to in connection with the attack.
Fardeen Hamidy, 18, who lives on the Northam Estate, has never been found despite extensive work to try to locate him.
Detective inspector Paul Gelman, from Shirley CID, said he was keen to find Hamidy and talk to him about the robbery.
He said: “This was a violent and unprovoked attack with the aim of stealing items from a youth. While we are pleased that Mirza has been brought to justice over this matter, we are keen to question Fardeen Hamidy in connection with this robbery.”
He added: “I am sure someone in the Northam community knows him and where he may be now and I would urge them to contact us.”
Anyone with information on where Hamidy might be is asked to call Shirley CID on 101.