HMA v ROBERT ANDERSON

At the High Court in Edinburgh Lord Doherty sentenced Robert Anderson after he was found guilty of pretending to be a police officer, assault and robbery on dates between March and July 2012.

On sentencing Lord Doherty made the following statement in court:

“You have been convicted of four separate incidents where you impersonated a police officer with a view to inveigling yourself into the homes of middle-aged or elderly people. On three of the four occasions you succeeded.

The incident in charge 3 was the only one where you did not go on to enter the house you presented yourself at - possibly because it became obvious that there were several people in the house.

The incident in charge 4 was particularly despicable. You and your companion in crime pretended to be police officers to gain admission to the home of an 85 year old widow who lived alone. Inside the house the lady was threatened, and confined in one room while her house was ransacked and she was robbed of money and jewellery. She was then locked in another room before you left the scene.

The modus operandi in charge 5 was similar. You and your companion gained entry to Mr and Mrs Vazquez’ home on the pretence of being police officers, but not long after you had gained entry you were threatening and abusive to them and robbed them of £800 and a wallet and its contents.

The incident in charges 6 and 7 involved you and your companions presenting yourselves at Mr and Mrs Geddes’ home pretending to be police officers but once inside you were threatening and abusive to them. The incident was only brought to an end when Mr Geddes managed to give your companion the slip and telephoned the police.

The three incidents where you gained entry to the victims’ homes were serious and concerning crimes. They disclose dishonesty; a degree of planning; willingness to prey upon people in their own homes; preparedness to frighten and menace people to deprive them of their property; and the absence of any concern as to the likely effects of the crimes on your victims.

You have a bad record. At Birmingham Crown Court on 7 September 2004 you were sentenced to 3 years imprisonment for a contravention of section 17(2) of the Firearms Act 1968 and given a concurrent sentence of three years imprisonment for theft by housebreaking; and even more recently on 19 February 2008 at Paisley Sheriff Court you pled guilty to theft by housebreaking and police assault for which offences you received consecutive sentences of 32 months and 10 months imprisonment.

I have regard to all that has been said on your behalf - particularly relating to your poor health – but it is clear that even with your poor health you have been a danger to the public. I would be failing in my public duty if I did not impose appropriate custodial sentences.

By law the maximum sentence which I could impose on each of charges 3 and 6 is three months imprisonment.

The sentence which I pass on charge 3 is two months imprisonment. On charge 4 the sentence I impose is three years imprisonment. Both those sentences will be backdated to 27 July 2012, the date you were remanded in custody.

On charge 5 the sentence I impose is two years imprisonment. That sentence is consecutive to the sentences on charges 3 and 4.

On charge 6 the sentence I impose is one of three months imprisonment. The sentence on charge 7 is imprisonment for one year. The sentences on charges 6 and 7 will be concurrent to each other but consecutive to the sentence on charge 5.”