BURGLARY GANG JAILED FOR TARGETING ELDERLY
One pensioner victim of fraudsters was punched repeatedly in the face during break-in
A GANG has been given a collective jail term of more than 20 years after targeting “elderly and vulnerable” dementia sufferers during a string of burglaries, robberies and fraud offences.
Ruben Smith, 33, of no fixed abode, Westley Harcup, 39, of Monksfield Way, Slough, and Sarah Belcher, 40, of Brammas Close, Slough, pleaded guilty to offences at Reading Crown Court on Tuesday June 13.
The incidents took place in Chalfont St Peter, Iver, Slough and Windsor and included some elderly victims being assaulted or threatened with weapons.
One of the pensioners targeted was repeatedly punched in the face after the offenders broke into a house in the middle of the night. During the string of offences, which took place between December 23 last year and January 7 2017, the burglars stole bank cards, cash, jewellery and a vehicle.
Smith pleaded guilty to two counts of burglary, two counts of fraud and one count of robbery and was jailed for nine-and-a-half years.
Harcup pleaded guilty to two counts of robbery, two counts of burglary and one count of fraud and received a 12year prison sentence.
Belcher pleaded guilty to one count of burglary and was received a twoyear prison sentence.
They were all arrested on January 7 this year and were charged the following day.
Thames Valley Police’s investigating officer, Detective Constable Katy Lewis of Local CID, condemned the attack on the vulnerable victims in Buckinghamshire and Berkshire.
She said: “The victims in these offences are all elderly and vulnerable, with some victims suffering from dementia.
“They were targeted by the defendants because of their vulnerability and also because many of the properties were in remote areas.
“All the victims have been in their homes during the offence with some committed in the middle of the night.
“I am pleased that Ruben Smith, Westley Harcup and Sarah Belcher have been sentenced to a significant period in jail for these heinous crimes on some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.”
(From left) Westley Harcup, Ruben Smith and Sarah Belcher have all been jailed