24th Aug, 2019

Robber targets pensioners by grabbing necklaces and earrings in Coventry city centre

Editorial Correspondent 5th Jul, 2019 Updated: 5th Jul, 2019

A COVENTRY pensioner was robbed on a bus by a young man who grabbed an £1100 gold chain from round his neck.

And five weeks later his attacker Lukeny Pedro grabbed an 83-year-old woman from behind in a shop and pulled her gold earrings from her ears.

But Pedro (24) of Sydenham Road, Smethwick, was caught by security staff, and at Warwick Crown Court he pleaded guilty to two charges of robbery and one of fraud.

Rejecting an argument that he should be given concurrent sentences for the two robberies, Judge Peter Cooke jailed him for a total of six years and eight months.

Prosecutor Ian Speed said that on April 17 a 73-year-old Asian man was standing by the driver on a bus at Pool Meadow bus station in Coventry when he felt someone brush past him.

The pensioner, who suffers from Parkinsons, then felt his gold chain and pendant worth £1,100 being pulled from round his neck by Pedro who ran from the bus with it.

Later that day the police were contacted by staff at H&T Pawnbrokers to say that a man had just sold them a chain with a distinctive pendant.

On May 27 an 83-year-old Asian woman was shopping in the Iceland store in Coventry city centre when she was grabbed by the shoulder from behind by Pedro who then pulled her gold earrings from her ears.

But he was caught and detained by security staff, and following his arrest officers recognised him from the CCTV at the pawnbrokers as the person who had sold the chain.

Both victims said their ordeals had left them feeling shocked and frightened, and the woman added: “I have been in England for 50 years and nothing like this has ever happened before.”

Mr Speed added that Pedro had previous convictions for offences including robbery, and at the time he was on licence from a four-month sentence imposed in October last year for burglary.

Evan Cranfield, defending, conceded: “It’s just a case of custody and a question of how long that sentence will be.”

He said that following Pedro’s release from Pentonville prison in December, he had been found temporary accommodation in Birmingham, and he had wanted to turn his life around.

“But he had no friends or family or other support in Birmingham, and he was also going through relationship problems with his long-term girlfriend because she was in London and he was in Birmingham, and he started using drugs again.

“At the time of the offences he was suffering from the effects of withdrawal, and out of desperation to feed his habit, he committed these offences.

“He is full of regret. He feels he really has hit rock bottom, and he does believe this is as bad as his offending will get,” added Mr Cranfield.

Jailing Pedro, Judge Cooke told him: “You are a young man, still only 24, and you have expressed the wish that this represents the low point to which you will sink in your career as an offender – but it’s a well-established career.

“I am dealing with you for robbing two elderly people, the first an elderly gentleman on a bus who is not just advanced in years but is a Parkinson’s sufferer.

“Then a short while later an unfortunate lady of 83 was the victim of a violent taking of her earrings, snatched from her and causing her pain and causing her to fall.

“Your offending is aggravated by your targeting of elderly victims.”

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