A teenager who went on a mugging spree armed with a screwdriver has converted to Islam in prison in a bid to change his ways, a court heard.

Trai Glasgow, 18, who is 6'3", ended up behind bars after terrorising commuters in Woodford, northeast London, armed with a screwdriver over Christmas and New Year.

On New Year's Eve alone he held up five people in a few hours, demanding wallets and mobile phones. One man who refused to hand over his phone was stabbed in the arm.

At Snaresbrook Crown Court, Glasgow pleaded guilty to 14 counts of robbery and asked for a further 16 counts to be taken in to consideration. He expressed a desire to change his ways and has converted to Islam in a bid to control his temper.

Glasgow had four fights with other inmates while on remand for the string of robberies in east London, it emerged.

Jailing him for five and a half years, judge Murray Shanks said: "I am told that you really want to change. I don't know if that is true at the moment and I don't know how easy it is for you because of the Asperger's.

'You have had the courage to confess guilt and you have had the courage to tell the police about the other robberies you were committing around the time."

DC Joanna Stevens of Ilford Robbery Squad who led the investigation to catch Glasgow said: 'Trai Glasgow is a cowardly man who used a weapon to intimidate people and steal from them.'

Detective Inspector Craig Robinson, Head of Ilford Robbery Squad, added: 'He is a dangerous man who has shown that he would not hesitate to use violence when intimidation failed.

"He targeted many of his victims as they were either using their phone or wearing distinctive earphones. I would urge people to take care when using their personal possessions in public areas and be aware of their surroundings."