MIL-OSI Security: Man who ‘preyed on gay community’ jailed

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Source: United Kingdom London Metropolitan Police

A man who preyed on men to rob them has been sentenced.

Reda Zahri, 22 (16.12.01) of Haverstock Road, NW5 was was jailed for 11 years and six months at Southwark Crown Court on Friday, 1 March.

He previously pleaded guilty to three counts of burglary, one count of false imprisonment and one count of attempting to commit robbery relating to three different men.

The court heard how Zahri struck up conversations with gay men to gain their confidence before he would target them for their belongings. He often engaged in sexual activity with them, before stealing items, often with the victim being unaware, and then leaving.

On one occasion he stole more than £25,000 from a victim using a suitcase.

Detectives managed to track Zahri down after he stole items from a man he had met in Camden. The victim had managed to get Zahri’s Instragram handle and showed this to officers.

When Zahri was arrested on 12 May 2022 following an incident in Camden – he initially refused to answer any questions.

Zahri also claimed to be 17, making him a juvenile in the eyes of the law. However, tenacious detectives suspected this wasn’t the case and managed to find a link to Germany where Zahri had been before coming to the UK.

Detective Constable Nigel Pacquette from the Safeguarding Team based at Charing Cross Police Station led the investigation and said:

“All three of Zahri’s victims were gay men, making clear that he was preying on members of the gay community. I also hope this sends out a strong message that the police will investigate anyone and everyone who has been a victim of crime.

“It is entirely plausible that Zahri targeted other people who, for whatever reason, have not had the confidence to come forward and report this. I would urge you to please make contact with police so we can investigate any allegations thoroughly.”

MIL Security OSI