Conman jailed for five years for preying on the elderly and the blind

A 44-year-old who posed as a gas man to steal from the elderly and a blind pensioner has been jailed for more than five years.

Michael Sammie, who pretended to check the gas and electricity metres of his vulnerable victims, ransacked their homes after tricking them into checking switches and light bulbs in other parts of their homes. He stole cash, jewellery and bank cards in his four-month spree of stealing from residents in their 70s and 80s.

Judge Simon Carr called the crimes “particularly despicable and cowardly”.

Sammie, of Swaythling Close of Upper Edmonton, pleaded guilty to six counts of burglary in Golders Green, Finchley, Cricklewood, Islington and South Kensington. He was sentenced to five and a half years in jail at Wood Green Crown Court on August 31.

Detective Constable Davina Cullen said one 77-year-old victim was brought to tears when police returned his mother’s wedding band and his grandfather’s signet ring which Sammie had stolen.

The victim said: “To prey on vulnerable people is unforgivable and I am so glad he has been caught. I would urge anyone who has a caller at the door to ask for identification, these men are so plausible.”