Thief who targeted elderly couple is jailed


A knife-wielding robber who twice terrorised a vulnerable elderly couple, aged in their 80s after forcing his way into their home, has been jailed.

Rhys Modeste, 21, of Peabody Hill, Tulse Hill, pleaded guilty to three counts of robbery as well as a charge of handling stolen goods and making off without payment.

He was sentenced on Wednesday, March  3 to a total of 16 years’ imprisonment.

Inner London Crown Court heard how on November 9 last year, Modeste knocked at the elderly couple’s home in Lambeth purporting to be a gas man.

Once the door opened, he forced his way in, brandishing a knife and stole the keys for their Audi vehicle parked in front of their home.

Both victims were aged in their 80s and very vulnerable. But Modeste struck the same couple again a month later.

This time, he broke into their home, again   armed with a knife on on December 9 to steal the couple’s replacement car only days after they had bought it.

The court also heard how Modeste stole a car from a woman at knifepoint in Chestnut Road, next to West Norwood Cemetery, on 28 August.

Investigating Officer DC Oliver Honeybun-Arnolda from Area South said: “This was a callous and heartless set of robberies whereby Modeste targeted some of the most vulnerable people in our community.

“His use of force and a knife left his victims terrified and fearing for their safety.”

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