‘Despicable’ Leeds robber preyed on elderly victims

Raymond Cowan.
Raymond Cowan.
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A JUDGE branded the offences of a callous robber as “despicable” after hearing how he targeted frail victims in their own homes just days after being released from jail.

Raymond Cowan, 42, was jailed for eight years yesterday over his latest spate of offence against vulnerable elderly people. Cowan targeted three residents at a flat complex in the Little London area of Leeds over two days in September last year.

One victim, a 91-year-old wheelchair-bound man, was robbed of his wallet and had to relive his ordeal when he gave evidence at Cowan’s trial at Leeds Crown Court.

Cowan, of Bracken Court, Wortley, Leeds, found guilty of robbery, fraud and two offences of burglary. Cowan tricked his way into victim’s homes by claiming to be selling cigarettes.

Cowan has served previous lengthy prison sentences for deception offences against the elderly in their own homes.

Jailing Cowan, judge Guy Kearl, QC, said: “You deliberately targeted frail and elderly people at accommodation that was designed for them. You used force when necessary. These were despicable offences for which you will go to prison.”

After the hearing, Det Insp Andy Welbourn, of Leeds District CID, said: “These type of offences often have a lasting traumatic impact on the victims and can affect their feelings of safety in the longer term.

“We hope that his victims will take some comfort from knowing he has been brought to justice and has received a significant prison sentence.

“This case should also highlight why people should always be very wary of anyone who calls at their door either wanting access or offering to sell them goods or services.

“You should never allow anyone into your home unless you are completely satisfied they are genuine.”