June 19 2013 Latest news:
by Court Reporter
Saturday, August 4, 2012
Three Bulgarian pickpockets who stole a blind and disabled woman’s purse in a London-wide crime spree have been jailed for four months each yesterday.
Gergina Georgjeva, 21, Parashkeva Ilieva, 40, and Dimitra Miteva, 33, targeted bus passengers in a “deliberate campaign” of thefts, Southwark Crown Court heard.
Patricia Cairns, who is blind and walks on crutches, was one of seven victims of the women, who all live together in West Green Road, South Tottenham.
She had her purse taken while on a bus in Oxford Street, central London, on Valentine’s Day this year.
Prosecutor Gavin Ludlow-Thompson said she was “a very easy target” for the thieves, with Miteva, a mother-of-three, acting as the “dipper”.
They pressed the emergency button to release the doors and fled when Ms Cairns tried to alert the driver.
The court heard that between February 14 and April 24, six other bus passengers were targeted by the trio, working alone and together, with phones and wallets stolen from five of them in Tottenham, Stoke Newington, Brixton, and Sydenham.
Mother-of-one Georgjeva was arrested on May 9 after police recognised her from a wealth of CCTV footage on the bus network.
She admitted four counts of theft, one of attempted theft and an unrelated charge of handling stolen goods.
Ilieva and Miteva admitted three counts of theft. All were jailed for a total of four months each, Judge Anthony Leonard QC telling them: “Each of you may show remorse now but that does not affect the fact that this was a deliberate campaign by the three of you to make money.
“You were successful in your enterprise and none of the property has ever been recovered.”