Violent robber jailed for life

York Press: Violent robber Lee Roberts has been jailed for life at Birmingham Crown Court after he targeted five pensioners aged between 92 and 73 Violent robber Lee Roberts has been jailed for life at Birmingham Crown Court after he targeted five pensioners aged between 92 and 73

A violent robber who dragged an 87-year-old woman through her home demanding cash has been jailed for life, police have said.

West Midlands Police said Lee Roberts targeted five pensioners aged between 92 and 73, knocking on their doors and bundling them inside where he subjected them to "terrifying ordeals".

Roberts was only released from jail in 2011 after being sentenced to nine years behind bars for the manslaughter of 90-year-old Neville Bassett.

In crimes committed between December 2013 and January, the 33-year-old tied a cushion over the face of one of his victims, before fleeing with £500 in cash, said detectives.

He then stole a TV from a 73-year-old woman, and took a 91-year-old's pension after following her home.

Roberts seized a handbag from another pensioner in Hay Mills, Birmingham, when she answered the door to him.

In January, police said he also ransacked a 92-year-old dementia sufferer's flat while they were inside.

Detectives linked Roberts, of no fixed address, to each of the crimes by tracking where his car had been driven.

He admitted four counts of robbery and one of burglary at Birmingham Crown Court yesterday.

Roberts will have to spend a minimum of six years and nine months in jail before he is considered for release, police added.

In 2004, the drug addict forced his way in to the home of pensioner Mr Bassett in Hobs Moat, Solihull, locking the man in his bathroom.

But the pensioner slipped and fell, breaking eight ribs, dying of pneumonia brought on by the trauma five days later.

Detective constable Arran Cox said: "These were terrifying ordeals for his victims.

"They were threatened, assaulted and had to watch as their homes were ransacked.

"Roberts has a track record of nasty robberies and has already served many years in prison after one victim, who he left with broken ribs, died from pneumonia as a result of his injuries.

"Residents can now feel reassured he is no longer free to commit such despicable offences - and may never emerge from prison if authorities deem he poses a risk in the future."

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