Ten years for con artist who stole life savings from elderly in Havering

Residents can sleep more soundly this week after a prolific thief – who targeted the frail and vulnerable in their own homes - was jailed for ten years.

Evil con artist Danny Smith tricked his way into homes in five boroughs, including Havering, using two methods, Havering Police said.

The 34-year-old would gain the confidence of vulnerable homeowners by claiming that he had previously fitted double glazing windows at their property and he needed to replace the beading.

While the elderly resident removed the curtains and netting, Smith would scour rooms for valuables and cash.

If this did not work Smith, from Chigwell, often asked victims to break a �20 or �50 pounds note and the unsuspecting victim would lead him directly to their money.

His victims ranged in age from late 70s to almost 100 years old - and in some cases the cash stolen was their life savings.

His 11-week crime spree, which netted him around �9,000, took place throughout east London from April 15 to his arrest on June 27.

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Officers arrested Smith in Havering following a cross-borough police investigation.

Smith was sentenced with 14 counts of artifice burglary and has asked for 40 other separate offences of burglary/artifice burglary to be taken into consideration, at Basildon Crown Court on Monday (December 5).

He pleaded guilty at a previous hearing at the same court.

Det Sgt Niall McSheffry, from Havering Police, said: “These are horrible crimes that target the most exposed member of the community who can often find it impossible to recover.

“The fact that Danny Smith is off the streets of Havering and will not have the opportunity to commit these crimes is a success for all”

In sentencing His Honour Judge David Owen-Jones made mention of the long lasting distress physiological damage and have felt violated by Smith’ crimes, Havering Police said.