Man Jailed for 'Cynical and Mean' Cash Card Crimes against Elderly

The News Letter (Belfast, Northern Ireland), November 24, 2015 | Go to article overview

Man Jailed for 'Cynical and Mean' Cash Card Crimes against Elderly


A 39-year-old man who was arrested in England for a spate of bank card crimes committed against elderly shoppers across Northern Ireland has been given a 30-month sentence.

Catalin Sandhu, who is originally from Romania but whose address is Crowther Street in Wolverhampton, was told by Judge Gordon Kerr QC that he engaged in a "course of cynical and mean offending against victims picked specifically because they were old and vulnerable".

Sandhu admitted seven counts of fraud by false representation, and one count of attempted theft from a person.

He will spend half of his sentence in prison, with the remainder spent on supervised licence upon his release from custody.

Belfast Crown Court heard the victims were six elderly women and one man who were targeted by Sandhu and a co-accused who has already been sentenced and is currently serving a jail term.

The total amount involved was just over [pounds sterling]9,000, with the offences committed at supermarkets across Northern Ireland.

Crown prosecutor Robin Steer revealed Sandhu and his co-accused's offending took place over a period spanning from May 17 to June 23 last year. In each instance, when elderly customers were using their bank cards to pay for goods at various supermarkets, one of the men would look over their shoulder to see what PIN number they were entering.

One of them would then approach the pensioner outside the supermarket, pretending they had dropped a bank note, or asking if they had change of a bank note. …

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