Third ‘coward’ jailed for ganging up and stealing from 81-year-old man

Cristi Bahica was jailed for five years at Ipswich Crown Court  Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

Cristi Bahica was jailed for five years at Ipswich Crown Court Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

Suffolk Constabulary

A third man has been jailed for taking part in what a detective called one of the most cowardly crimes she had ever dealt with.

Cristi Bahica was among a gang that invaded the home of an 81-year-old Ipswich man in 2018.

The 23-year-old was jailed for five years at Ipswich Crown Court, including consecutive 30-month terms for burglary and an unrelated serious assault.

Between 11pm and 11.30pm on August 22, 2018, a group of males turned up at the victim’s home in the Handford Road area.

Believing them to be workmen dealing with a local gas leak, the victim answered the door and was forced back inside, where he was watched over while two of the gang searched every room.

One emerged from the kitchen with a sheathed knife and held it to the man’s neck.

Two then walked him to a cashpoint to withdraw cash.

On their return, another five males were inside the property and stole £100 from the victim’s pocket, along with his mobile phone and some tobacco, before all leaving at about 1am.

Bahica was charged with robbery, but claiming he was not among the first to enter or walk the victim to the cashpoint.

However, he admitted being present when the group returned, and pleaded guilty to burglary.

A DNA match had led detectives to Norwich prison, where Bahica was jailed for another matter and due for deportation at the end of the sentence in April. But officers managed to secure a charging decision from the prosecution service on April 3.

His deportation will now take place after the current sentence, which includes a 30-month term for GBH on a 29-year-old, struck numerous times by two men with a wooden pole in Bulwer Road, Ipswich, on July 20, 2018.

Temporary Detective Chief Inspector Holly Evans, who spoke previously on the cowardly nature of the crime, praised detectives for securing a charge two days before Bahica’s deportation and ensuring he paid for ganging up to steal from a man in his 80s, and for another offence which showed he was not averse to violence.

She said: “There is still at least one more person we are looking to identify in connection with the Handford Road incident, and if they thought they had got away with it, this result will hopefully make them think otherwise.”

Anyone with information can call South CID on 101, quoting reference 48094/18.

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