21 year-old female sentenced for stealing £1,000 from pensioner

23/02/2012

Samantha Hadzic, aged 21, was today sentenced to 20 months imprisonment at Coventry Crown Court for her part in the targeting and theft of £1,000 from an 80 year-old woman in Coventry city centre last August.

The victim was targeted by a group of woman, which included Hadzic, as soon as she had withdrawn money from her bank. They would later distract the victim and steal the cash from her handbag. Police were provided with a description of the woman and Hadzic was arrested in October after she was spotted by officers acting suspiciously outside another bank. She was charged with one count of Theft.

James Francis, Senior Crown Prosecutor for West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), said: "Samantha Hadzic was part of a group of women who targeted the victim because they perceived her to be an easy target and unlikely either to report or go through with any criminal proceedings. However, she proved them wrong by making a complaint, assisting the police and showing courage in the face of court proceedings.

"Throughout the prosecution process Hadzic has continually showed no remorse and little disregard to the effect that this incident has had on her victim.

"Targeting someone because they are old and vulnerable makes a crime even more serious, so we are working with our partner agencies to bring these people to justice - whether they be strangers, carers or family members.

"We will also support victims and witnesses at all stages of a case. Some older people may be intimidated by the court process, but we can apply for special measures like screens in court to prevent a victim seeing the defendant, or the option to give evidence away from the courtroom through a live TV link from home. Intermediaries can also help people with communication difficulties to give evidence.

"Today's conviction is important in showing that the criminal justice system takes criminal mistreatment of older people seriously. We urge any older person suffering criminal mistreatment to be confident that the CPS understands the serious nature of these crimes and to report them to police."

Hadzic received 20 months imprisonment and was ordered to pay £1000 compensation within 28 days to the victim.