Homeless Romanian man jailed for robbery - Luton

20/09/2013

A penniless Romanian man, who had been convicted of rape and robbery in his home country, came to Luton in a futile attempt to find his former partner and their son.

But living on the streets, and without any money, Ionel Gaman resorted to robbing a drunken young man he saw withdrawing money from a cash point.

Gaman, 29,  sobbed as the facts were outlined at Luton Crown Court on Friday, 20 September. He appeared via a video link from Bedford prison and pleaded guilty to robbery.

The homeless man was jailed for two years and told by Judge Richard Foster that he would be automatically deported at the end of the sentence.

Beverley Cripps, prosecuting, said Gaman had convictions in Romania for rape and robbery in 2005, for which he was jailed for seven years and a further robbery in 2011 for which he was jailed for two years and four months.

She said, on  28 July this year he was in Luton in the early hours when he saw 30 year old Ryan Duffy, who was drinking on a night out. He saw him use a cash point in George Street, Luton and put the £30 cash in his back pocket.

He followed him and outside the casino grabbed him by the throat and demanded his money. The victim showed him his empty wallet but the defendant pointed to the man's pocket where he had seen him put the cash.

He took the cash, some cigarettes and a mobile phone but was caught shortly afterwards, still with the property on him. He lied at first but then said that whatever the man was saying about what happened was the truth.

Robert English, defending said: "He was entitled to travel to the UK but not to work here. He used his meagre finances to travel here and embarked on the futile task of trying to locate his partner and two year old son , which he did not manage to do.

"He was sleeping on the street, and had no money and quite simply and quite wrongly decided to commit a robbery to obtain some money."

Judge Foster told Gaman: "You targeted a vulnerable drunk victim at night time and stole money from him that he had no doubt earned."

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