[from Haringey Independent]
Parkland Walk robber guilty
4:38pm Tuesday 23rd December 2008
A man dubbed as the Parkland Walk Robber has been found guilty of a series of robberies just a month after he was let out of prison.
Barry Silburn, 42, of Stacey Street in Finsbury Park, was on trial at Wood Green Crown Court charged with robbing four people and attempting to rob a fifth, on three days between May and July this year.
It emerged in court that Silburn had only been let out of prison in April this year, where he was serving a four-year sentence for robbery offences in 2003.
This time, Silburn attacked his victims along Parkland Walk, a path and nature trail which runs between Highgate Tube and Finsbury Park.
Silburn is accused of robbing two friends in their 60s, Rayah Feldman and Ann Whitehead on Saturday, May 31 this year. Silburn grabbed the women, pushing them into the bushes before stealing their purses.
In a second similar attack the court heard how Silburn crept up behind friends Basia Lejonvarn and Rose Catt, who were out walking through Parkland Walk, at lunchtime on Thursday, June 26.
Last Monday, the women told the court how scared they were when their heads were grabbed from behind as they were pushed into bushes of nettles along the path, not far from Crouch Hill.
Mrs Lejonvarn said: “”He grabbed me by the back of my head. I tried to push back against him but I couldn’t. He just grabbed me and he must have held Rose’s head too. He shoved us into the side of the bushes.
“He was saying things like ‘don’t scream, don’t say a word’.”
Mrs Catt added: “It was very frightening. When he first approached us I thought we were going to be reallly really hurt.
In his last attack Silburn grabbed 74-year-old dogwalker James Burgess from behind on Saturday, July 7, pinning him to the ground while he searched his pockets.
Police managed to arrest Silburn a few roads away in Ferme Park Road, Crouch End where he was breathing heavily and sweating. Silburn claimed to have been in the area visiting his girlfriend.
Prosecution for the Crown, Jonathan Wright, said: “The method in respect of these three days and each of these complainants was similar. He stealthily and suddenly approached from the rear while the persons were walking through Parkland Walk.
Silburn was found guilty of the spate of robberies today and the court was told of his eight previous convictions for robbery, sexual offences, burglary and grievous bodily harm.
Detective Constable Saima Hussain from Haringey’s robbery squad said: “This was an extensive investigation and I would like to thank all involved in capturing the offender.
“I would like to thank the prosecution lawyer and also the victims for attending court and having the courage to give evidence.
“Silburn had only been out prison for a month, before he began to prey on these vulnerable victims and I am glad that justice is done.”
Parkland Walk robber found guilty
24 December 2008
A SERIAL robber with a violent history has been found guilty of five attacks, three of which were on pensioners, in a north London beauty spot.
Barry Silburn, 41, was convicted on Tuesday of three counts of robbery and one of attempted robbery on women in Parkland Walk between May 31 and June 26 this year. He was convicted of another robbery yesterday (Monday) on 74-year-old man James Burgess, and now faces a lengthy term in jail.
Silburn was found guilty of robbing a 44-year-old woman and attempting to rob a 38-year-old woman on June 26, as well as robbing two women in their 60s on May 31.
After the verdict was announced Jonathan Wright, for the prosecution, read out a list of Silburn’s long history of offences, resulting in more than 10 convictions since the age of 13.
These offences include indecently assaulting a 73-year-old woman when he was 15, rape in 1986, grievous bodily harm, five burglaries and four robberies.
Mr Wright concluded: “In short, he has received over 30 years of disposals during the course of his offending.”
His most recent conviction was in 2003, when he was sentenced to four years in prison for robbery, and was released in April this year.
DC Saima Hussain from Haringey’s Robbery Squad, said: “Silburn had only been out prison for a month, before he began to prey on these vulnerable victims and I am glad that justice is done.”
Silburn is due to be sentenced on January 23.