Bogus ‘Sweeney’ police duped elderly victim
TWO women posing as undercover police officers accused a vulnerable pensioner of downloading child porn to trick their way into his home to steal cash.
A court heard the pair were traced by real police officers after one of the women handed the victim a note with the “non-imaginative” name of Detective Inspector Regan on it.
Detective Inspector Regan was the character played by John Thaw in 1970s police series The Sweeney.
Leeds Crown Court heard the note was found to contain Donna Reeder’s fingerprints.
Reeder, 36, was jailed for two years and eight months after pleading guilty to burglary and impersonating a police officer.
Keeley Collett, Reeder’s cousin, was jailed for five years and ten months after pleading guilty to three offences of burglary. Collett had preyed on the 69-year-old victim on previous occasions and has convictions for targeting vulnerable victims. Andrew Dallas, prosecuting, said the woman were carrying fake ID badges and had ear pieces when they called at the victim’s home near to Easterly Road, Leeds, at 9.30pm on June 21 this year.
Reeder told the man they suspected he had been downloading porn on his computer. Mr Dallas said: “He told them his computer was not connected to the internet. He took them to the back room and demonstrated to them that it was the case.”
Reeder continued to distract the man while Collett went upstairs and stole £160 in cash from the man’s bedroom. Collett claimed she had been looking for evidence when she was challenged by the victim. Mr Dallas said Reeder began making “arrangements” through a “nonexistent” radio. As they left she handed the victim a written note with the a number and the name of ‘Detective Inspector Regan’ on it. Reeder, of Amberton Crescent, Gipton, phoned the man after the incident and told him she would need to come back to take a statement. Both women were arrested but refused to comment during interview.
At the time of the offence Collett, of Clarendon Road, Hyde Park, Leeds, was serving a suspended prison sentence for carrying out a burglary. In a previous offence she tricked her way into an elderly man’s home claiming she needed to use his phone. In another she called the home of a young woman claiming to have been the victim of domestic violence before stealing a handbag.
Andrew Stranex, for Collett, said her offending was linked to her long-standing addiction to heroin. Marcus Waite, for Reeder, said she had been suffering from depression. Judge Tom Bayliss, QC, said: “In your case, Keeley Collett, you have shown no remorse.”