Gang of young robbers subjected 81-year-old man to ‘emotional trauma’ in his own home

Ticu Bahica, of Reavell Place was sentenced to five years’ detention in a young offender institution

Ticu Bahica, of Reavell Place was sentenced to five years detention in a young offender institution Picture: SUFFOLK POLICE - Credit: Suffolk Police

The robbery of an 81-year-old Ipswich man in his own home has been branded one of the most “cowardly crimes” a Suffolk detective has ever dealt with.

Det Insp Holly Evans said she was “absolutely shocked” by the actions of a group of young men, who threatened their victim while he was watching TV.

Her comments come after one of the group, Ticu Bahical, 18, of Reavell Place, Ipswich, was locked up for five years for his involvement in the crime.

As reported this week, Bahical, who was 17 at the time of the attack, was sentenced to five years’ youth detention, after admitting to robbery at Ipswich Crown Court.

During the victim’s 90-minute ordeal he was interrogated by having a torch shone into his eyes and also had a knife held to his throat.

The former chef was watching television at his home in Handford Road, Ipswich, at about 11pm on August 23 when he answered a knock at the door, thinking it might concern an earlier gas leak.

Quickly realising they were not who he thought, he attempted to close the door but the suspects forced their way inside. They then turned off the lights in the hallway and living room, sat the victim down on the sofa and demanded money, but the victim said he did not have any.

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Two of the gang searched every room in the house while another one sat with him.

One of the suspects then came out of the kitchen with a knife belonging to the victim. This had a protective sheath on it and was held against the victim’s neck.

The suspects eventually found the victim’s wallet and bank card and in an effort to make them leave, he offered to go to a cashpoint and withdraw £100 to give them.

Two of the offenders then walked the victim to a cashpoint at Sainsbury’s in Hadleigh Road to withdraw the cash for them.

They were at the cash machine between 12.30am and 12.40am.

The offenders marched the victim back to his house, before taking £100 from his pockets. They also stole his mobile phone and some tobacco, before leaving at around 1am.

The victim was left very shaken by this incident, but was otherwise unharmed.

Bahica was identified as a suspect and was arrested and charged by police three days later.

Det Insp Evans, of South CID in Ipswich, said: “This was one of the most cowardly crimes I have dealt with and I was absolutely shocked that a group of young males would subject an elderly man to an ordeal like this.

“Although they did not physically harm the victim, I can only begin to imagine what the emotional trauma of being threatened in your own home like this must be like. “Thankfully the officers’ enquiries quickly found firm evidence that Ticu Bahica was one of the persons responsible. At least by admitting his part in this crime and showing some remorse, he has spared the victim the further upset of enduring a trial.

“However, he was just one of a group of males and there are still a number of people yet to be identified for their role in this incident, and we are continuing our efforts to ensure everyone involved is brought to justice.”

Police continue to appeal for anyone who was in the area of Handford Road, London Road or Sainsbury’s in Hadleigh Road, between 11pm on Wednesday, August 22 and 1am on Thursday, August 23 to make contact.

This includes anyone driving along those roads who have dash cams fitted in their vehicle.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact South CID on 101 quoting reference 48094/18 or the charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.