Distraction burglars’ sentence cut after Court of Appeal ruling

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Two thieves who targetted an elderly woman in Horsham have had their jail terms cut from six years to four.

Elena Batan, 39, of Dock Road, Barking, and Ioan Hutup, 30, of Rowley Gardens, Finsbury Park, were members of a gang which carried out a string of burgaries and distraction thefts across the south east between February and November last year.

They both pleaded guilty to robbery, conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation, conspiracy to steal and conspiracy to commit burglary. Hutup also admitted theft, and they were each jailed for six years on June 1 this year.

The court heard that an elderly woman in Horsham was targeted for a distraction burglary in November last year, after the gang followed her to her home and then pretended to be lost and in need of directions.

The robbery was committed in Worthing, where they tried to snatch £1,000 from a man in his 80s.

Last week, Lord Justice Hughes, Mr Justice Ramsey and Mr Justice Irwin, sitting at London’s Criminal Appeal Court, cut both their terms to four years.

Mr Justice Ramsey allowed the appeal, saying that the sentencing judge had used too high a starting point when fixing the term for the robbery. Allowing for their guilty pleas, he said, four years was the correct term.