Jail term for thief who targeted pensioners

Ramdan Shariff
Ramdan Shariff

A CROOK who preyed on elderly people at cashpoints across 1066 Country has been jailed.

Ramdan Shariff, 31, of east London, was sentenced to three years behind bars for his part in a series of distraction burglaries in Hastings and Battle last year.

A group of men would wait for elderly, vulnerable people to approach cash machines and watch them entering their PIN numbers before swiping their bank cards. They would then withdraw money from the victims’ accounts, sometimes emptying their funds.

After a lengthy investigation police arrested Shariff and a second man and both were charged in relation to the thefts. Shariff was charged with conspiracy to steal and conspiracy to commit fraud and was found guilty on both counts by a jury at Hove Crown Court after a two week trial.

The second suspect skipped bail and has never been found by police.

DC Rhys Bendon, who led the investigation for Hastings Police, said: “These were crimes committed by organised professional criminals who used subterfuge to take advantage of victims, who for the most part were vulnerable people - the eldest of the victims was well into her 90s.

“The good will of members of the public who assisted the victims at the time and gave evidence in this case was vital to Shariff’s prosecution.”