Ipswich – Third person sentenced for 2018 offence against elderly man | Suffolk Constabulary

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Ipswich – Third person sentenced for 2018 offence against elderly man

Cristi BAHICA

A 23-year-old man has been jailed after admitting he was part of a group that entered the home of an elderly Ipswich resident almost two years ago and stole from him, becoming the third person to be sentenced for this crime.

Cristi Bahica appeared before Ipswich Crown Court on Wednesday 17 June, where he was sentenced to a total of five years’ imprisonment, comprising two consecutive 30-month terms: one for the offence of burglary against the elderly man; and the second for an unrelated offence of assault causing grievous bodily harm. 

At some time between 11pm and 11.30pm on Wednesday 22 August 2018, a group of males knocked at the door of an 81-year-old man’s property in the Handford Road area. 

Believing it may be workmen who had been dealing with a gas leak in the area earlier that day, he opened the door to them. Quickly realising they were not who he thought, he attempted to close the door but the suspects forced their way inside. 

Two of the suspects then 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. 

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

The offenders then walked the victim back to his house, when on their return another five males were inside the property. £100 was taken from the victim’s pocket by one of the suspects and his mobile phone was also stolen along with some tobacco, before they all left at around 1am. 

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

Cristi Bahica was originally charged with robbery, but denied this offence as he claimed he was not present at the time the house was first entered and the victim was walked to the cashpoint. However, he admitted being present in the house when the group returned and so pleaded guilty to the offence of burglary.

Bahica’s DNA was found inside the victim’s house and he was interviewed by detectives in connection with this crime in January of this year at Norwich Prison, where he was serving a custodial sentence for another matter. 

He was due to be deported from the United Kingdom on conclusion of this sentence in April, but officers managed to secure a charging decision from the Crown Prosecution Service on 3 April. Bahica was then served a summons on 16 April to appear at Ipswich Magistrates’ Court the following week (on 23 April). 

Suffolk Police have been liaising with Home Office immigration officers and Bahica’s deportation is now due to be actioned on completion of this most recent sentence. 

The other offence Cristi Bahica was sentenced for last week related to an incident in Bulwer Road, Ipswich, on 20 July 2018, whereby a 29-year-old man was attacked by Bahica and another man, who struck him numerous times with a wooden pole. 

The two others previously convicted in connection with the incident in Handford Road are as follows: 

Ticu Bahica, (aged 18 at the time of sentencing), of Reavell Place in Ipswich, was sentenced to five years’ detention in a young offender institution, after pleading guilty to robbery at Ipswich Crown Court on Thursday 4 October 2018.

A 19-year-old man from Leeds (age at time of sentence), who appeared at Ipswich Crown Court on Wednesday 1 May 2019. He pleaded guilty to burglary and was sentenced to 11 months’ detention in a young offender institution.

Temporary Detective Chief Inspector Holly Evans said: “I have commented previously on the despicable and cowardly nature of this crime and that we would continue to pursue all those involved.

“The fact that the hard work of our detectives has resulted in a third conviction almost two years after the incident is proof of this. 

“There was the additional time constraint to get a charging decision prior to Bahica’s impending deportation, which thanks to the efforts of all involved was achieved two days before this was due to take place. 

“This ensured Cristi Bahica was brought to justice for his role in this offence and will now serve further time in custody. In addition to ganging-up with other young men to steal from a man aged in his eighties, the other offence which he was sentenced for clearly shows he is not averse to violence either. 

“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, then this result will hopefully make them think otherwise.”

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. 

Previous release | 5 October 2018

Ticu Bahica

An 18-year-old man from Ipswich has been given a custodial sentence after admitting robbing an elderly man in the town this summer.

Ticu Bahica, of Reavell Place, appeared at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday, Thursday 4 October, where he was sentenced to five years’ detention in a young offender institution, after pleading guilty to the robbery of an 81-year-old man.

At some time between 11pm and 11.30pm on Wednesday 22 August, a group of males knocked at the door of the victim’s property in the Handford Road area. Believing it may be workmen who had been dealing with a gas leak in the area earlier that day, he opened the door to them.

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 shone a torch in his eyes demanding money, but the victim said he did not have any.

Two of the suspects then 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 on Hadleigh Road to withdraw the cash for them. They were at the cash machine between 12.30am and 12.40am.

The offenders then walked the victim back to his house, when on their return £100 was taken from his pocket by one of the suspects, and 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 quickly identified as a suspect and was arrested by police three days after the incident on Saturday 25 August and was charged later the same day.

Detective Inspector Holly 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 22 August and 1am on Thursday 23 August 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.

Previous release | 27 August 2018

A 17-year-old boy has been charged in connection with the robbery of an elderly man in Ipswich last week. 

The incident took place between 11pm on Wednesday 22 August and 1am on Thursday 23 August.

At some time after 11pm on Wednesday 22, a group of men knocked at a property in the Handford Road area and the resident – an elderly man - opened the door. The suspects then forced their way into a property, threatened the victim and demanded money from him.

The victim told them he did not have any cash in the house, and after spending up to an hour searching the house, the offenders then walked the victim to a cashpoint at Sainsbury’s on Hadleigh Road to withdraw cash for them. They were at the cash machine between 12.30am and 12.40am.

The offenders then walked the victim back to his house, leaving at around 1am. There were up to seven suspects in total. 

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

Officers arrested a 17-year-old boy from Ipswich during the afternoon of Saturday 25 August in connection with this incident. He was taken to Martlesham Police Investigation Centre for questioning and was subsequently charged with robbery. 

He was remanded in custody and is due to appear before Ipswich Magistrates’ Court today, Monday 27 August. 

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

Previous release | 24 August 2018

Police are appealing for witnesses after an elderly man was robbed in Ipswich.

The incident took place between 11pm on Wednesday 22 August and 1am yesterday morning, Thursday 23 August.

At some time after 11pm on Wednesday 22, a group of men knocked at a property in the Handford Road area and the resident – an elderly man - opened the door. The suspects then forced their way into a property, threatened the victim and demanded money from him.

The victim told them he did not have any cash in the house, and after spending up to an hour searching the house, the offenders then walked the victim to a cashpoint at Sainsbury’s on Hadleigh Road to withdraw cash for them. They were at the cash machine between 12.30am and 12.40am.

The offenders then walked the victim back to his house, leaving at around 1am. Once they had gone the victim phoned the police and officers arrived at his address within a matter of minutes. The area was searched but the offenders were not located.

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

There were up to seven suspects, who are described as being aged between their teens to mid-20s and believed to be eastern European.

Detective Chief Inspector Jeff Yaxley said: "This was a terrifying ordeal for the victim and our officers have been working with him over the past day to gain as much information about the incident as possible.

"I am appealing to anyone with information about this incident to contact us without delay and assist us to find the people responsible for this cowardly crime involving a group of young males ganging up against an elderly man.

"I would also urge people not to answer their door to unexpected callers – especially late at night – without first trying to establish who is outside. If you do not have a viewing hole or door chain, then look out of a front window if possible and try to speak to the callers either through your door or window.

"A genuine caller would not insist on trying to make you open the door and you should call police immediately if you feel threatened.”

Detectives are appealing for anyone who was in the area of Handford Road, London Road or Sainsbury’s in Hadleigh Road, between 11pm on Wednesday 22 August and 1am on Thursday 23 August 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.