The 'absolute hell' of life after being mugged
Published: 4th Apr 2012 02:01:59
A mugging takes place every two minutes in the UK on average, so how do the muggers and the victims feel during and after the attacks.
"It's about really putting that fear into them," admitted Jermaine, who first got involved in street crime at the age of 11.
"The way you approach them, the way you're dressed, you have your hood on - you might have a knife on you, you might not, but it's about getting that fear into them and once they're scared they'll give you whatever you want."
Mugged is on BBC Three 4 April 21:00 BST
Jermaine, who is from Essex, used to carry out street robberies until he found God and turned his life around.
He is now a qualified youth worker, working with gangs and the probation service. Looking back, he tried to explain why he did it.
"I was really frustrated and angry... I just used to walk around with a ferocious temper and you see someone on their own and you're just influenced in a demonic way where your hunger is driving you and you want money - it's a want - a lust."
And he admitted he didn't give a thought to the person he was mugging.
"When you attack them or assault them it's only afterwards you actually think 'Is that person still alive? Is that person alright?'
"At the time you're just thinking I want the money, I want the phone. It's kind of like you're an animal really, because you're not thinking about the other person's emotions."
One in three mugging victims are physically injured. Ben, a 21-year-old medical student, has been violently mugged on two occasions, 18 months apart.
If you are aged between 16 and 24, you are six times more likely to be mugged and students are five times more likely to be robbed than employed people.
Ben was mugged for the first time with his friend Dave in July 2010, as they walked home from a night out to celebrate the end of year exams in east London.
They had chatted to a group of men on the way home, but one of the group ran off with Dave's phone and when they tried to get it back things turned violent.
Dave was head-butted and Ben was hit around the head with a brick and knocked out. Four per cent of mugging victims are knocked out or concussed, while three per cent sustain broken bones.
"I came round for a moment," said Ben, "and saw Dave. He was sobbing and saying 'Ben you'll be alright'.
"I remember asking Dave why was it wet and he told me it was blood and a wave of panic came over me then. I'd never felt so vulnerable in my life, lying there in a pool of blood."
Ben had four fractures around his eye and now can't open his left eye fully.
"The pain of the injury was nothing in comparison to the mental pain afterwards," Ben revealed. He had nightmares and was very anxious about going anywhere at night.
More than one-in-10 mugging victims get anxiety or panic attacks afterwards and 92% of mugging victims are emotionally affected by the crime.
You're constantly thinking about where the next attack is coming from ”
Aidan, a 21-year-old final year philosophy student, even resorted to wearing a stab vest after he was mugged and attacked on his way home from lectures at Leeds University.
It left him feeling "completely trapped" and too scared to walk to university or even go to the shop at the end of his road 20 metres away.
He described it as "absolute hell".
"I didn't want to leave my room... Your mind comes up with scenarios of how someone's going to attack you. You're constantly thinking about where the next attack is going to come from."
He started to get angry about nothing and it affected his relationships with people. He carries an attack alarm and for a while wore a stab vest on the way to and from university.
"I look back now and think well maybe it was a bit excessive - but I did feel and I still feel that it is going to happen again and I don't know how to shake that."
When Ben was violently mugged again 18 months after the first attack he could not believe it.
"I don't go round antagonising people, the whole point of what I do - my life - is to study medicine with the aim of helping people. It does leave me thinking why me."
When 18-year-old Richard was violently mugged, he suffered a brain injury which has changed his personality.
"It's like Richard went out the door that night and a different Richard has come back," said his mother Debbie.
"We still love him but he's different," she said, saying he had become less inhibited and more impulsive.
A third of all mugging victims are secondary school students. Richard was mugged while walking into town in Halifax, West Yorkshire, last year to celebrate A-level results with friends.
He was approached and asked for his phone, but when he refused he was attacked by more than one person.
He needed emergency surgery and survived but was placed in an induced coma for 10 days to control brain pressure and prevent further brain damage.
He had to relearn how to talk, walk and care for himself. It has put on hold his dreams of being a web designer. Six months on he is still unable to work full time, ride his scooter or drink with friends.
The gang who attacked him also carried out another robbery that night and were traced via a car they got away in.
The average sentence for a convicted mugger is 12 months, although 41% of those convicted are not jailed. The gang who attacked Richard were jailed for a total of 29 years.
"I do feel justice has been done," said Richard.
"When they were in court they were looking at me and whispering to their family. I would have liked them to say they were sorry."
Mugged is on BBC Three 4 April 21:00 BST.
At 01:02:22 in TechnologyDemands for search engines to remove personal data from the web to respect people's "right to be forgotten" are unreasonable, a group of peers says.
At 00:48:56 in EnglandThe Metropolitan Police has agreed to reveal whether two men had relationships with women while working as undercover police officers.
At 00:40:57 in EnglandBritish Airways is to be sued for damages over claims one of its pilots sexually abused children in African schools and orphanages.
At 00:34:41 in WorldThe Pope was recently reported to have said that about 2% of Catholic clergy are paedophiles. But how does this compare to society as a whole - is it more or less than average?
At 00:26:57 in SportWelsh swimmer Georgia Davies says winning Commonwealth gold in the 50m backstroke has made all the hard work she has put in since taking up the sport worthwhile.
At 00:16:58 in HealthWe arrive at the Ebola Treatment Centre in the forested town of Gueckadou in South East Guinea to a grim scene.
At 00:13:27 in BusinessThe morning after technology company Zendesk raised $98m (£56m) in a share sale in May, its boss led all 360 staff at its San Francisco headquarters out on to the local streets to pick up litter.
At 00:13:18 in BusinessWhen you think of a laboratory you wouldn't usually think of cheering crowds or actors in costumes.
At 00:12:43 in BusinessRight from the start, the Argentine government's attitude to its debt dispute with US hedge funds has made it all but inevitable that the country will fail to reach a compromise.
At 00:08:33 in BusinessThere are eight seasons in the Sami calendar. Each coincides with a stage in the life of their reindeer.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. The 'absolute hell' of life after being mugged [Online] (Updated 4th Apr 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1420507/The-absolute-hell-of-life-after-being-mugged [Accessed 30th Jul 2014]
News In Other Categories
The Pope was recently reported to have said that about 2% of Catholic clergy are paedophiles. But how does this compare to society as a whole - is it more or less than average?
A ban on steel-string guitars in prison cells in England and Wales has been reversed after a campaign by rock stars including Billy Bragg and Johnny Marr.
With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
The morning after technology company Zendesk raised $98m (£56m) in a share sale in May, its boss led all 360 staff at its San Francisco headquarters out on to the local streets to pick up litter.
For the past 20 years, families in Northern Ireland have given up part of their summer holidays to host children affected by the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster
A libel case brought by a Conservative assembly member has been adjourned and is unlikely to resume until next year.