Thirteen years for illegal immigrant
who broke the neck of a young ballet star
...in a violent street mugging
- Doctors feared Jack Widdowson, 19, would be paralysed for life
- He was found unconscious on a canal path in Cardiff, south Wales
- Mohammed Mohamoed, 27, was jailed for 13 years for attack
- He will be deported from the country when he's released from prison
An illegal immigrant was jailed today for breaking the neck of a young ballet star in a violent street mugging.
Doctors feared Jack Widdowson, 19, would spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair after being robbed for his mobile phone on a night out.
He was found unconscious on a canal path and paralysed after being targeted in the robbery of his iPhone.
His attacker Mohammed Mohamoed, 27, was jailed for 13 years after being found guilty of attacking Mr Widdowson. Egyptian-born Mohamoed will be deported from the country when he is released from prison.
Judge Justice Wyn Williams told him: 'You as a dangerous offender. You caused Jack extremely serious injury and he was very fortunate he didn't suffer permanent, devastating effects.
'You left him lying in the street which was callous in the extreme. Much credit is due to the young man who came across him and helped him and the medical staff who treated him afterwards.
'You will be subject to an automatic deportation when you have served your sentence - that will be in the hands of the home office.'
Mr Widdowson, one of the youngest apprentices to be taken on by the Swiss company Bern:Ballet, was attacked while visiting his brother who is studying at Cardiff University.
But Cardiff Crown Court heard his night came to a violent end when he was attacked by Mohamoed who took his Apple iPhone and left him for dead in the street.
A jury was shown a video interview with the rising star, from Bath, Somerset, as he lay in a hospital bed wearing a neck brace after the attack.
He told police: 'I have broken neck, that's going to have to have a hell of a lot of rehab and physio to get back to where I was.
'I've been told I'll make a full recovery and that's what I want to do - I just want to put this whole thing behind me.'
Unemployed Mohamoed was later arrested at his home in Splott, Cardiff. The court heard Mohamoed was born in Egypt and his parents, who are farmers, still live there.
He drifted through Europe first moving to Italy before settling in Cardiff where he claimed to be a Palestinian refugee.
Prosecutor Michael Mather-Lees QC told Mohamoed: 'You broke his neck, then you lied to police because you realised you had committed a dreadful offence.'
Mohamoed was caught on CCTV prowling Cardiff city centre looking for a victim to attack.
He admitted meeting Widdowson and stealing his mobile phone which he later used to make a call to a friend in Italy before selling it at a market.
But he denied attempted murder and told the court the young ballet dancer was unharmed when he left him in the dark alleyway in Cardiff Bay.
Mohamoed, who admitted theft, was found guilty of grievous bodily harm and jailed for 13 years. After the case his parents Julian and Celia, who have since set up a charity called the Dance Again Foundation, praised Jack for his recovery.
It said: 'Jack has made an amazing recovery from a horrific injury and we would like to htank the many people who have helped to achieve that.
'He has been performing for some time now and has already performed publically on a number of occassions. We and he are just delighted that he has been able to resume his career as a dancer despite what happened to him.'
Detective Constable Mike Owens of South Wales Police said: 'Jack had been enjoying a night out with family and friends when he was subjected to a shocking level of violence by Mohammed Mohamoed.
'Amazingly Mr Widdowson, who is such a talented young man, has made a full recovery and we are delighted that he is back dancing again.
'Today's decision will hopefully allow Jack and his family to finally put this incident behind them.'