Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Killer Stabbed Fellow Hostel Resident To Death

A murderer is starting a life sentence after he repeatedly stabbed another resident at their supported living hostel in south London.
Steven Thwaites, 62, of Marmora Road, East Dulwich, must serve a minimum of twenty years for killing 60 year-old Vincent Douglas.
Blackfriars Crown Court heard Thwaites picked up a kitchen knife in the early hours of December 1, last year and stabbed the victim in the abdomen, liver, face and hands.
Police were called at 2.32am following reports of a male suffering from stab injuries.
Officers attended and discovered Vincent in the garden of the address.
They immediately began to administer first aid prior to the arrival of colleagues from the London Ambulance Service.
Despite subsequent efforts from paramedics, Vincent was pronounced dead at the scene and a crime scene was established.
As officers spoke to residents at the scene, Thwaites claimed Vincent had inflicted the wounds himself.
However, he gave differing accounts of where he had seen him, first claiming he had been on the ground floor but later stating Vincent had been on the top floor.
Thwaites then claimed he had taken the knife Vincent allegedly used to inflict his injuries and washed it before placing it in a drawer in his kitchen.
CCTV enquiries subsequently showed Vincent going downstairs from his room with a head injury; he was then captured with a stab wound to his abdomen visible before he went outside the building, pursued by Thwaites who was armed with a knife.
Thwaites required hospital treatment for laceration injuries to his hands that he claimed were as a result of taking the knife from Vincent.
He was arrested on suspicion of murder upon discharge from hospital.
During interviews he again gave differing accounts to police of what had happened.
He was later charged with murder.
Detective Inspector Will Reynolds, of the Homicide and Major Crime Command, said: "This was a very sad and unnecessary death.
Both men were vulnerable adults, living in supported accommodation and without any history of conflict.
"Vincent Douglas posed no threat at all to Thwaites, as evidenced by the CCTV, played to the court.
“For reasons, still not understood today, Thwaites stabbed Vincent Douglas a number of times with a knife taken from the kitchen.
"On his arrest he gave a number of confused and conflicting accounts for how Vincent received his injuries and when interviewed tried unsuccessfully to suggest that Vincent stabbed himself whilst trying to take his own life.
“Vincent had no history whatsoever of self-harm and the jury rightly convicted Thwaites of murder.
"Vincent's family are deeply upset by his death and are still coming to terms with how he could have been taken from them in this way, so unexpectedly.
“I hope this verdict goes some small way to helping them come to terms with their loss."

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Greedy Love-Rat Jailed For Swindling Girlfriend In £82,500 Forged Cheques Scam

Up In Smoke: Bohrer
A ruthless love-rat has been jailed for defrauding his girlfriend in a £82,500 forged cheques scam - even photocopying her disabled blue badge for free parking.

Alan Bohrer, 64, ripped-off Susan Franks, 59, by forging her signature on 42 cheques, continuing the scam when she dumped him for seeing a younger woman.

“I didn’t think he would steal off me. He still had the keys to my house even when we finished,” said Susan after Bohrer received four-and-a-half years imprisonment.

Bohrer, of Rushgrove Avenue, Colindale fought the case, but was convicted by a Harrow Crown Court jury of two counts of fraud and two of forgery between April 27, 2012 and June 6, 2016.

“I am very, very sad it has come to this. He is an ex-boyfriend and we had some really, really good times together,” added Finchley-resident Susan a property entrepreneur, model and actress.

“We use’d to go on cruises all the time and I paid because I did not want to go on my own and he would be in the casino morning, noon and night.

“He loved the casino and I would have to go to the shows on my own,” added Susan, who also got Bohrer involved in film extra work.

Exploited: Susan
The couple had dated as youngsters until Bohrer married Susan’s best friend then they got back together again in 1999 when they bumped into each other on holiday just before his divorce.

He managed her financial affairs, which included a generous inheritance from her late father that financed her lucrative property portfolio.

Prosecutor Mr. Nicholas Alexander told the jury: “She placed complete trust in him. He knew all her finances and assets and had the key to her house and the alarm code.”

However, this ended on June 12, 2016. “Bohrer telephoned Susan and asked her to lie to the police that she had been with her when he used her blue badge without her permission.

“She had not given him permission to use the badge and contacted the police because she was concerned.

“This caused her to lose trust and faith in Bohrer and she took back her keys.”

When one of her freeholders claimed they were owed money Susan began checking her bank records and discovered cheques were missing.

She added: “Loads of cheque stubs had been removed beautifully with a knife. He had taken out blank cheques.

“When the bank told me the signatures on the cheques did not look quite right and I had to check them, my heart sank. 

“It is so sad. What he did to me was such a terrible thing. To steal off an ex-girlfriend and a friend.

“It is unbelievable that someone I trusted has done that to me. I am so shocked.

“I was with him when he had two heart attacks. I was very, very good to him.

“I was with him for fifteen years, but the last three went down because he went to private card clubs four to five days a week and met a young girl there and would go to dinner with her sometimes.

“He was spending his money on her, making out he was going to the club.”

In her video-recorded statement to the police Susan said: “I trusted him. It was as if he was trying to help me.

“He must have had an ulterior motive, he was so keen. My dad could see it, he called him a ‘conman’, but I couldn’t see it.”

The prosecutor added: “A large number of her cheques have been forged and the beneficiary was Bohrer.

“He offered to help her regarding book keeping with her investments and properties.”

The arrangement continued when they split as a couple in 2014. 

When arrested on July 13, 2016 Bohrer denied the cheque forgery allegations, but a handwriting expert proved he was the author.

Monday, 29 October 2018

Burglar Who Raped Married Woman Caged

A burglar who broke into a shared house one morning and raped the 31 year-old female resident who bandaged his injured hand has been caged for life – with a seven-year minimum.
Andrei Makara, 40, of no fixed address, used his shoulder to force open the front door of the Brent property on July 24 as the terrified married woman tried to stop him.
He pleased guilty at Harrow Crown Court to two counts of rape; one count of assault by penetration and one count of robbery.
The victim was in her bathroom when she heard a loud bang downstairs and realised someone was trying to get into the property.
She managed to lock the front door, but Makara used brute force to gain access, injuring his hand.
The victim, fearful for her safety, bandaged Makara’s hand and also offered him her bank card.
Makara then became aggressive and threatened the victim with a pair of scissors before raping her.
Afterwards, Makara demanded the victim hand over her bank card and PIN, threatening to kill her if the PIN was wrong.
He then stole a bicycle belonging to the victim’s husband and left the address.
The victim reported the robbery to police the same day and two days later further reported she had been raped during the incident.
Detectives from the Metropolitan Police's Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Command (CASO) immediately launched an investigation.
Detective Constable Alan Wong, from CASO, said: “I hope today’s sentence gives the victim some measure of comfort and closure.
I would like to commend her for her bravery and having the courage to report the incident to the police.
“Her evidence was vital in ensuring a dangerous individual has been put behind bars.”

Sunday, 28 October 2018

"Prolific Burglar" Wanted By Police For South London Break-Ins

Police are hunting this “prolific burglar” who is suspected of striking a dozen times in south London, snatching jewellery, cash and electronics.
Michael Darnley, 54, of no fixed abode, is wanted in connection with twelve residential burglaries since March, 2017.
In each incident, homes in Croydon, Lambeth, Wandsworth and Merton were broken into during the day whilst homeowners were out.
Detective Constable Chris Tucker, from Croydon CID, said: “We believe the suspect is a prolific burglar who has targeted homes in south London for more than a year.
Darnley is also wanted on recall to prison and failing to appear at Croydon Magistrates’ Court in relation to handling stolen goods.
We believe he is known to frequent the Croydon, Wandsworth, Merton and Lambeth areas.
We would like anyone who knows of his whereabouts to contact police as soon as possible.”
Anyone with any information is asked to contact police on 101.
Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. Please quote reference 3812885/18.

Saturday, 27 October 2018

Cocaine, Cash & Gun Seized In East London Raid

Blow To Gangs: Cocaine Seized
Gang-busting cops seized this £3.5m haul of cocaine during an east London raid, also confiscating £100,000 cash and a loaded snub-nosed handgun.
Officers from the Metropolitan Police's Violent Crime Taskforce executed the search warrant at a residential arrest in Heather Gardens, Romford at 6pm.
The cocaine weighed-in at 70 kilos.
Three men, aged 24, 27 and 53 years-old, and two woman, aged 25 and 53 years-old were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to Supply Class A Cocaine, possession of Ccriminal property and possession of a firearm and ammunition.
All were held in custody at separate east London police stations.
Detective Superintendent Sean Yates said: “This search warrant was carried out as a result of officers acting on fast time intelligence about the supply of drugs to east London gangs.
A seizure of cocaine on this scale will disrupt the flow of class A drugs into the capital and demonstrates the commitment of the Violent Crime Taskforce to combat all levels of criminality in London.
“A potentially lethal firearm has also been taken off the streets.”

Friday, 26 October 2018

Wanted: Armed Bayswater Hotel intruder

Police are hunting this cocky knifeman, who told hotel staff: “I will kill you,” while brandishing the large 'zombie' knife he used to slash open guests' luggage in the hunt for valuables.
The uninvited intruder also tucked into food and drink left out for legitimate guests, leaving a messy trail of scattered sandwiches and debris.
He initially told reception at the Prince's Square hotel in Bayswater that he was a guest and gave a false name after arriving just before midnight on June 28.
He slipped away while the employee was distracted trying to cross check his computer records.
The shift worker on duty already had his suspicions roused by the suspect's disheveled appearance, and when he discovered the name was false, started searching the whole hotel property in a bid to find the man.
Meanwhile, the suspect had managed to find his way to the store room, where guests had left their valuable cases and other luggage for safekeeping and started ripping his knife into as many bags as possible to get at the contents.
The shift worker had scoured all five floors of the hotel without success before being alerted by the mess left behind in the kitchens that the suspect must have made his way into the nearby store room, where he caught him red-handed.
A tussle followed between the pair during which the suspect brandished a large serrated knife and shouted” “I will kill you!” before breaking free and forcing his way out of the hotel through a fire exit door.
Hundreds of pounds worth of damage was done to the luggage broken into, but the man appeared to have been interrupted before he could actually steal any of the items.
Detective Constable Kelly Mulder, from Westminster CID said: "We have spent some months trying unsuccessfully to identify this man through our internal channels and now really need the public to help us.
Do you recognise this man?
"If so please contact us as soon as possible. He has shown he is prepared to use a high level of aggression and an extremely vicious weapon when challenged.
"The victim, who bravely stood up to this man even though he was on his own, had only just recently come to this country for his studies and has been left very frightened and distressed. He is now anxious whenever he works alone."
The suspect is described as being a black male, around six ft 2ins tall, of thin build, with a shaved head and dark eyes.
He was wearing a black top, light blue jeans, and black trainers, which did not appear to be in good condition.
Anyone with information can call police on 101 quoting reference CAD1764/29thJune or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Thursday, 25 October 2018

Mother And Son Guilty After Ugly Street Row

The Khuageh Two: Bust Up At The Junction
A mother-of-six, who was arrested along with her hot-headed eldest son who was threatening violence outside their rented house, saw him locked up when sentenced herself.

Shabana Khuageh, 41, and Sami Khuageh, 20, of Norbury Hill, Streatham, were both sentenced after a Croydon Crown Court trial.

Sami lost his temper with a driver and passenger in Covington Way, which is at the side of his family's home, on September 30, last year.

A large group gathered during the ugly disturbance and multiple police vehicles attended the scene in which immediate neighbours also got involved.

Sami was sentenced to nine months youth custody after he was convicted of affray; assault by beating and causing criminal damage to a vehicle.

His target was a couple occupying a Silver BMW and it was alleged he armed himself with a car jack.

Shabana received a 12-month community order, 20 days rehabilitation and was ordered to obey a one-month tagged curfew.

She was originally charged with affray; assaulting the couple and possessing the wheel jack as an offensive weapon.

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Camden Market Appeal: Woman Sexually Assaulted At Event

A laughing sexual predator, who molested a woman at a Camden Market event, is being hunted by police.
Detectives from Central North CID have released this CCTV of their suspect.
The 33 year-old woman attended the Chalk Farm Road event on July 29.
The suspect had been bugging and harassing her throughout her time there and pounced when she was alone, having visited the lavatory.
At approximately 7.00pm she was leaving the toilets when she was approached by the suspect man who sexually assaulted her.
CCTV from the area captured this image of the man officers would like to speak to.
He is described as about 5ft 5inches tall, of a chubby build with a goatee beard and wearing a blue hooded jacket with a white stripe, dark shorts and a black rucksack.
Detective Constable Ish Akkaya from Central North CID said: “During the victims evening out with friends, the male suspect attempted to approach her numerous times.
However, he waited until she was alone to assault her before laughing as she ran off.
I would urge any witnesses or anyone who knows of this man’s whereabouts to get in touch.”
Anyone with information or who recognise this male should contact police on 101 quoting CAD 3414/14Sep or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Hotel Worker Tried To Stab Maid To Death In Laundry Room

A hotel worker, who repeatedly stabbed a 24 year-old female colleague during a laundry room murder bid, has been caged.
Viorel Radoi, 43, of The Fairway, Wembley received 26 years and 3 months.
He pleaded guilty to attempted murder at the Portman Square hotel in Marylebone on April 20.
Harrow Crown Court heard it was around 3.30pm and the maid was sorting laundry in the basement when Radoi, who was armed with a knife, suddenly started stabbing her.
The victim managed to use the internal phone line to call colleagues to her aid.
Emergency services were called, and the victim was taken to a central London hospital by London Ambulance Service where she underwent surgery for her injuries that were deemed not to be life-threatening.
Despite extensive enquiries, police were unable to trace Radoi after he had fled the scene.
He gave himself up at an east London police station three days later on Monday, 23 April, where he was charged with attempted murder and remanded in custody.
Detective Constable David Leend of Westminster police said: “Thankfully the victim’s injuries did not take her life, although there is sufficient evidence to suggest that Radoi’s intention was to do just that.
I hope the sentence handed down affords the victim a sense of justice having been done and a measure of closure.”

Monday, 22 October 2018

Controlling Ex Gets Suspended Sentence For Treatment Of Older Lover

Michelle Couzins & Liam O'Keeffe
The toyboy lover of an older “morbidly obese” single-mum has received a suspended prison sentence for a campaign of verbal abuse and intimidation that destroyed her self-esteem.

Liam David O’Keeffe, 24, of West Street, Weymouth, Dorset met 43 year-old Michelle Couzins on the internet and the pair set up home in Rose Avenue, Mitcham, south-west London.

He pleaded guilty to engaging in controlling and coercive behaviour and harassing Ms Couzins and received 21 months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months.

O’Keeffe was also made subject to a ten-year restraining order prohibiting contact with his former partner.

The prosecutor told Kingston-upon-Thames Crown Court: “She seems to have lost a great deal of self-esteem and stopped looking after herself, was unkempt and unclean and put on a substantial amount of weight.”

O’Keeffe even restricted Ms Couzins to a van parked in their garage. ‘They were locking themselves in there and excluding her son having contact.

“It was all driven by jealousy that she had interest in one of her father’s lodgers and he caused a scene at her work.

“He called her a ‘bitch’ and a ‘whore’ and was demeaning her regularly.”

Ms Couzins recalled one moment in July 2015 when O’Keeffe suddenly pulled his van over near a golf course.

“The defendant thought she was looking at a man and was very aggressive towards her and pinned her against a fence with his hands around her throat.”

The pair had met in October, 2014. “It did not take long, she says, for his extreme jealousy to take over and that caused her mental anguish and pain.

“She was very much under his influence and the result was for her to self-harm, pulling her hair and burning herself with cigarettes.”

Ms Couzins says O’Keeffe lied about his identity, adopting the name Rufio Gonzales and falsely claiming he had no family.

She recalls O’Keeffe being the perfect gentleman in the first three months of their relationship. “He was funny, fun. He seemed really charming, he was so nice, he would say: ‘You are so intelligent, you are so kind’ and we did seem to have a connection then.”

However, as he became more controlling O’Keeffe insisted Ms Couzins take phone calls on loudspeaker so he could eavesdrop, restricted what she could wear and deleted contacts from her Facebook account.

He also took her money and insisted on visiting the care home she worked at, which eventually cost her employment.

She describes herself as “morbidly obese” while dating O’Keeffe and has lost eight stone since their split.  

Sunday, 21 October 2018

National Newspaper Sales Boss Sentenced For Ripping-Off Ex-Fiancee's Engagement Ring

A media sales chief drunkenly ripped his ex-fiancee’s £6,000 engagement ring off her finger, leaving a bloody cut, a month after the couple split up.

Privately-educated Orhan Erkut, 41, a group head with a national publisher, had a seven-year relationship with digital media sales manager Kathryn Nixon, which ended in May.

He pleaded guilty to assaulting her at their £540,000 home in

Clive Road, Colliers Wood on June 29 and causing criminal damage to her mobile phone screen.

A photo of her bloody manicured finger and smashed phone was displayed on screen at Wimbledon Magistrates Court.

Erkut, a University of Nottingham graduate, who attended £18,000-a year St. Peter’s School, York was conditionally discharged for 12 months and ordered to pay £85 costs and a £20 victim surcharge.

Prosecutor Jacquie Hughes said: “The victim was in the kitchen when Mr. Erkut arrived home drunk and she could see he was angry.

“He approached her and demanded back the engagement ring he bought her.

“She refused and said no, because it was given to her and was hers and this made him angry.

“He grabbed her hand and forcibly removed the ring, causing an injury to her hand.

“He grabbed her mobile phone from her hand as she tried to film him removing the ring on her finger and threw it on the floor and stamped on it twice.”

The assault was not reported by Ms Nixon until three months later when Erkut asked her to leave because his new girlfriend was moving in.

He then handed himself into police. “He said he wanted the six thousand pound ring back and said there may have been several pulls to get it off.”

Afterwards she said: “I am aware as a result of the incident our relationship has broken down.

“I was worried and anxious about what was going to happen next and I was worried he’d throw me onto the street so I slept with my house keys and telephone in my hand.

“He behaved unpleasantly when drunk and can become aggressive.”

Erkut’s lawyer Mr. Will Martin told the court the couple had split up the month before, but were still living under the same roof.

“They had each returned home separately from evenings in the pub and there was a row.

“There was significant stress and strain on both sides and there was a disagreement specifically about the engagement ring.

“He asked for the engagement ring and she refused.

“There is no question that she was right not to give it back, it was a gift to her.

“He accepts he tried to take the ring and that injury was caused, but he did not intend to cause injury.

“There was a small cut caused.

“He expresses deep remorse and apologised days after the event.

“The ring has now found its way back to the complainant.

“The reason this came to light was Mr. Erkut started a new relationship in September and she said in her interview she was very aggrieved by this.

“She changed the locks while they were still living together and was made very unhappy by the end of the relationship.

“There is real remorse here and this was an isolated incident.”

Erkut has vowed to pay his ex £61,000 to reflect her contribution to the mortgage and rising house value.

“He has a good job, good colleagues and good prospects,” added Mr. Martin. “He is truly ashamed of his actions.”

Magistrate Mr. Kevin Hern said: “This case had a domestic violence marker, which means we will take this more seriously and give it a lot of thought.

“There was alcohol on both sides. You have put your hands up to this at the first opportunity and we have taken that into account.

“There was a level of injury, but we do deem that minor.

“It was the heat of the moment in trying to retrieve a ring.”

Saturday, 20 October 2018

Asylum Seeker Used New UK Passports To Bring In Two Illegals.....And They're Staying!

A successful asylum seeker, who abused her and her family’s new British passports to bring in two illegals, was praised for her “humanitarian desire” by a judge.

Somalia-born Hana Abdi Qahtan, 46, tried to pass off a 16 year-old Yemeni as her son at Heathrow Airport and had another UK passport for an older woman hidden in her hijab.

She had flown to Bahrain on her UK passport, also bringing her son’s and mother’s with her to be illegally used by two distant relatives to enter this country.

The part-time carer, of Romford Road, Manor Park applied for asylum in 2006 and became a British citizen in 2013, also getting passports for her mother and many children.

Her two relatives, who travelled on the bogus passports, have now received full asylum to remain in the UK.

She pleaded guilty at Isleworth Crown Court to one count of facilitating a breach of immigration on September 10, last year and received 7 months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months.

The maximum sentence is 14 years imprisonment.

Judge Sarah Paneth told the first-time offender: “You gave your son’s passport to Mohammed Nouman, a citizen of Yemen, in an attempt to allow him to enter the country.

“A second count relating to your mother’s passport, which was to be used to help another foreign national is to lie on the file.

“The offence is a serious offence. It is an offence that attracts deterrent sentences, long sentences, and most are dealt with in that way.

“Your aunt was the mother of a sixteen year-old Yemeni boy and was concerned about his welfare in Yemen and those concerns are borne out by the fact he received asylum in the UK.

“That sets out your humanitarian desire to assist him to come to this country.

“Tragically your own daughter had been killed in Yemen during a period you sought asylum for all your children, so you had empathy with your aunt.

“This offence was not of direct emotional benefit to you. This was not a particularly close family member.

“It was not of any financial benefit to you, in fact it was a financial loss because you paid for the flights from your modest earnings in the UK.”

Qahtan was forced to leave Saudi Arabia when her husband died and ended up in Yemen, from where she obtained asylum to the UK.

Despite needing a court-funded Arabic interpreter throughout Judge Paneth added: “What is very impressive is your education and employment.

“You came to this country as an asylum seeker and immediately enrolled in a way to enhance your contribution to this country, gaining qualifications in English, Health and Social Care.”

Qahtan is also a volunteer, but this is limited to her fellow-Somalians. 

“You apply some of your precious time as a woman with several children still at home, ranging for the age of twelve years-old, with absolute devotion to help disadvantaged members of the Somali community.

“I accept you have shown genuine remorse,” added the judge, who also read out a reference from the woman Qahtan cares for.

“She says that when she awakes from sleep she finds that you are still there, even though your shift ended over an hour before, to make sure she is okay and has everything for the night.

“She says it is a part of your character to go out of your way in the call of duty to help others and hopes this aspect of your character shines through to anyone assessing your character.”

Qahtan is currently receiving NHS treatment for sciatica and depression.

“You have health problems that have limited your ability to work, but not extinguished it,” added Judge Paneth. 

“Your daughter is in Saudi Arabia and has deep vein thrombosis, something you have also suffered with, and is unable to travel and you are greatly concerned about her.

“This is, in my judgement, an exceptional case and is appropriate to be marked with a custodial sentence, but suspended to allow you to do unpaid light work in service to the community.”

Qahtan was ordered to perform 100 hours community service work and the judge concluded: “You fall very, very far from the sort of person who is a people smuggler and I have no doubt you will not be in court again.”

Prosecutor Mr. Ben Holt told the court it was 7.00am when the Yemini teen presented himself to immigration officers with Qahtan’s son’s passport.

“The image in the passport did not match the individual and he gestured to the defendant and said she was his mother.”

The story quickly fell apart and the youth said his mother was living in Birmingham.

An older woman, Amaina Thaqbi, was in the queue. “She did not have a passport on her, but this defendant was able to produce a British passport from under her hijab.

“The prosecution’s case is that this passport was going to be handed to the woman to gain access to the country, it was the defendant’s mother’s passport.”

Qahtan’s lawyer Mr. Tim Nutley told the court: “She is in poor health, is a mother to teenage children and has an elderly mother.

“She is a useful and respected member of society.

“When approached by the mother of Mohammed Nouman she felt a great deal of empathy for her plight and for the boy, who was still out there.

“She is motivated by humanitarian concerns and is a highly-regarded member of her community.

“She has sought to integrate herself into society and educated herself to achieve the position she is in now.

"Ultimately no harm was done. Both these individuals obtained asylum in this country. It did not harm society.”

Friday, 19 October 2018

Threatening And Aggressive Rogue Trader Deceived Customers

Wimbledon Magistrates Court
A Maidstone rogue trader lied to customers and demanded money for sub-standard work during a £25,000 roofing and building scam.

Father-of-three Michael Verrechia, 27, of Little Willows, Eastwood Road, Ulcombe deceived customers by claiming he had £1m liability insurance; work was guaranteed for twenty years and he was a member of the Confederation of Roofing Contractors.

He was prosecuted by Kingston-upon-Thames council's Trading Standards and pleaded guilty to a total of five summonses and was sentenced at Wimbledon Magistrates Court.

Verrechia, who has returned £15,400 to compensate his victims was placed on a 12-month community order, which includes 160 hours community service work, was fined £300 and must obey an electronically-tagged three-month home curfew between 8pm and 6am.

He swindled female customers at their homes in Chancery Road, Chessington and Maida Vale and a customer in Northampton.

Verrechia pleaded guilty to two counts of unfair trading in relation to the women, who were each quoted £6,000 for work, but were aggressively billed for £12,000 on June 22, last year.

He also admitted defrauding the first woman by failing to disclose information to her on June 5 and dishonestly making a false representation to the Northampton customer and laundering £6,400 that customer paid him.

Verrechia identified himself as 'Red Rose Home Improvements' and the 'British Building and Roofing Company'.

At the first woman's three bedroom Chessington address she describes Verrechia as “threatening” and the dodgy tradesman “pressurised and misled” the customer say Trading Standards.

The court was told: “Abuse was passed on and a demand for full payment,” an associate of Verrechia: “Threatened to rip the roof off if money was not paid.”

The sub-standard work needed a £5,800 fix after Verrechia's handiwork.

The second woman received a £750 quote for a leaking roof extension, which Verrechia inflated to £6,500 and then nearly doubled to £12,000.

The victim transferred the full amount and told investigators she had succumbed to “old lady syndrome.” 

Thursday, 18 October 2018

'Lonely' Detective Sentenced For Stalking Female Officer

A lonely detective constable, who stalked a female colleague by loitering outside her home and waiting for her at a local bus stop as she travelled to work, has been sentenced.

Ironically Jose Lagares, 48, had been confided in by the policewoman after an ex harassed and threatened her and he even tried to influence that investigation.

The father-of-two is based at the Metropolitan Police’s Central North Command Unit, which covers the boroughs of Camden and Islington.

Lagares, of Highfield Road, Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire pleaded guilty to stalking Svetlana Puzovic between September 1, 2017 and August 24, this year.

Yesterday he was sentenced to a 12-month Community Order, which includes 120 hours of community service work and was ordered to pay £85 costs and an £85 victim surcharge.

His lawyer told Wimbledon Magistrates Court: “This is a situation borne out of extreme loneliness rather than any psychological issues.”

The court heard the victim was “unable to sleep for months” as a result of Lagares’ behaviour.

Prosecutor Miss Julie Idowu told the court: “They are both serving police officers and the defendant has attended the complainant’s home approximately ten times.

“He has been seen outside the front and around her address.

“They were friends and had been friends for fifteen years.

“The complainant had a relationship with another officer based in the USA.

“She told this defendant about that relationship, which ended with that individual stalking and threatening the complainant.

“She told the defendant about it and he researched her ex-partner and found his address in the USA and information about him, including his date of birth and photos of him.

“She told him to stop and let the police investigation take its course, but he continued to investigate this matter and asked the officer in the case to send all correspondence to him.”

On New Year’s Day Svetlana spotted Lagares at the bus stop near her Vauxhall home and at 7.40am on April 26 he was outside her address.

She saw him while travelling to work on April 29 and again on May 3 as she travelled to her local gym.

“The defendant would be seen hiding in the stairwell in the building opposite her home,” added Miss Idowu.

“Another time he was waiting at her regular bus stop and got on the bus after speaking to her.”

Lagares had been moved to restricted duties at Charing Cross Police Station and now faces internal disciplinary proceedings and dismissal.

He insists he just wanted to talk to the woman to reignite their platonic relationship.