15 years jail for violent criminal who posed as a policeman to break in, terrorise, and then rob elderly couple

Jailed: Terry Mahon

Jailed: Terry Mahon - Credit: Archant

A violent criminal who targeted elderly and vulnerable people has been jailed for 15 years.

Prolific burglar, 47-year-old Terry Mahon of Elizabeth Way in Cambridge, appeared at Cambridge Crown Court on Monday (September 4) after previously admitting three counts of robbery and two counts of burglary at an earlier hearing.

The court heard how Mahon went on a five-day crime spree, terrorising some of his victims in order to obtain cash.

He would cold-call upon his victims, usually late at night or early in the morning, claiming to be connected to the police either through Neighbourhood Watch or as a police officer.

The first incident happened on May 11 this year, just three days after Mahon was released from prison after serving a sentence for burglaries where he posed as a police officer – the latest stint of his 30 years in prison over his lifetime.

At just gone 10pm he barged his way into the home of an elderly couple, aged 79 and 82, in Cherry Hinton Road, claiming someone was trying to break in to the back of their house. Despite their repeated pleas for him to leave he manhandled them both, at one point pushing the man to the ground, before leaving with £400 in cash.

Two days later (May 13) at 10pm Mahon targeted his next victim, a 63-year-old woman in Russell Court. He knocked on the door and walked straight into the home claiming he was from Neighbourhood Watch and was carrying out security checks after a woman had her handbag stolen.

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He left without the victim noticing he had stolen handbags and purses which were later recovered by staff at Brown’s restaurant in Trumpington Street.

At 6am on May 15 Mahon once again knocked on an elderly person’s front door, this time at the home of a 90-year-old man in James Street. He told the man he was a detective sergeant and he was let in.

Mahon started looking around before demanding £100 in cash otherwise he would tie the victim up and strangle him if he didn’t comply. After finding £200 in cash he continued to terrorise his victim, pushing him to the ground and kicking him before leaving with the cash. The victim was unable to get himself back up and had to trigger his lifeline emergency alarm to get help.

Later that day at about 9.40am Mahon carried out his fourth crime, this time targeting a 71-year-old woman in St Anthony’s Walk. He tricked his way in by telling the woman he was working with the police, telling her the upstairs windows had been smashed. He went upstairs but left empty handed.

Mahon, who goes by many other names, including ‘Anthony Doherty’, was forensically linked to two of the scenes through fingerprint examination.

On Monday (September 4) Mahon was sentenced to a total of 15 years in prison and a further five years on licence once he is released. Sergeant Colin Norden, from the Cambridge Burglary Squad, said: “Mahon is a prolific offender who targets vulnerable people. I am pleased by the sentence handed out by the judge which will see Mahon behind bars for many years.”