Jailed: Violent burglar who stole mobility scooter cash to fuel his drug habit

Jason Brown

Jason Brown - Credit: Archant

A fraudster who traumatised vulnerable elderly victims in Hackney and stole money intended for a mobility scooter to fuel his drug habit has been jailed.

Jason Brown, 36, of Rendlesham Road, Lower Clapton, borrowed £20 from a disabled pensioner in January after he told her he had a baby at home and no money for electricity, and promised to pay it back that evening.

He only returned to the house in Rendlesham Road a month later.

The victim recognised his voice when he knocked on her door, and as she cannot walk she asked him to put the money through her letterbox.

But he insisted he wanted to hand the money to her personally because he needed change, and she made her way to the front door using a stair lift.

Brown forced his way in and forced the victim back upstairs by holding down the switch on her stair lift while he rifled through her handbag and stole £500 which she was saving for a mobility scooter.

The victim tried to stop Brown by grabbing his sleeve, but he put his mouth over her hand and tried to bite her.

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Brown also tried to borrow money from a 69-year old woman in Hertford Road the same month, telling her he was a labourer and his family had run out of electricity and needed money to top up the meter. But she refused.

He also tried the same ruse on a 42 year-old man in De Beauvoir Road, who agreed to lend him money if he could prove he lived nearby.

He accompanied him to an address but when they arrived Brown claimed his wife had their key and he couldn’t get in.

The victim reported Brown to the police, and he was traced by council CCTV workers as he left on a bike and stopped by police in Kingsland Road.

Brown pleaded guilty to three counts of fraud as well as burglary using violence and was sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Friday to four years and nine months in prison.

One of his victims said the experience had been “upsetting and traumatic”, but thanked police who had dealt with it with professionalism and compassion.

“I am pleased he is off the streets and will hopefully get some help to turn his life around,” she added.

DC Sophie Wiles, from Hackney’s violent crime unit, commended all the victims for having the courage to report his crimes.

“Jason Brown preyed upon the elderly and the vulnerable, abusing their goodwill by claiming to need money for his electricity meter. He was in fact stealing for his drug habit,” she said.

Police officers from Stoke Newington Police Station raised over £250 in a whipround which was split between four of Brown’s victims.

The mobility scooter had been bought on hire purchase from Argos, which donated £250 to the victim and froze the interest for her payments for 12 months as a goodwill gesture.

Three offences of burglary will lie on file.