Glasgow & West Scotland

Bogus policeman Robert Anderson jailed for robberies

A man who posed as a police officer to rob elderly people in their own homes has been jailed for six years.

Robert Anderson targeted an 85-year-old woman in Giffnock, East Renfrewshire, and a couple in Plains, Airdrie, North Lanarkshire, in April and June 2012.

The 56-year-old, from Airdrie, was found guilty after a trial last month. Another man, Ryan Fairbairn, 25, from Hamilton, was cleared.

Anderson has previous convictions for firearms offences and police assault.

During his trial at the High Court in Livingston, the jury heard how he and an accomplice used fake police identification to trick their way into Irene Wallace's home in Giffnock on 9 April last year.

Threats and abuse

The 85-year-old was threatened and locked in a room while Anderson and the other man ransacked her house, before making off with cash and jewellery.

Anderson and his accomplice used a similar ploy to trick their way into the home of Ronald and Janet Vasquez, in Plains, Airdrie, on 1 June.

Once inside, they subjected the couple to a torrent of abuse, threatened to plant drugs and have them imprisoned, before robbing the couple of £800.

The court also heard how Anderson also tricked his way into the home of George and Aileen Geddes, in Bargeddie, North Lanarkshire, on 3 July.

Once inside, he accused them of running a fake passports scheme and pretended to "arrest" Mr Geddes.

The jury found Anderson guilty of posing as a police constable - charges which, on their own, carry a maximum sentence of three months in prison.

He was found guilty of using the pretence to gain entry to Mrs Wallace's home, the Vasquez home and the Geddes' home.

Anderson arrived at the High Court in Edinburgh for sentencing with the aid of a walking stick.

Serious crimes

His defence advocate Susan Duff said he continued to suffer significant difficulties after contracting swine flu in 2009.

Judge Lord Doherty told Anderson: "Even with your poor health you have been a danger to the public."

The judge told the 56-year-old he had been convicted of serious and concerning crimes.

"They disclose dishonesty, a degree of planning and a willingness to prey on people in their homes," the judge added.

Lord Doherty said the attack on Mrs Wallace was "particularly despicable".

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