Woman, 94, had rings stolen by ‘palm reader’ John Briffa
Published: September 1, 2011
by RICHARD OSLEY
A THIEF who stole rings from a 94-year-old woman who he had tricked into thinking he was a palm-reading expert has been jailed.
John Briffa, 48, from Caversham Road, Kentish Town, was sentenced to three years in prison when he appeared at Blackfriars Crown Court on Friday.
He targeted the woman in December as she sat on a bench in the English Gardens of Regent’s Park. After striking up a conversation, he told her that he had palm-reading skills. When she held out her hands, he grabbed her rings, bending her fingers straight when she tried to stop him.
Detective Sergeant Chris Minnighan said: “This was a despicable crime against a 94-year-old victim. As a lady of old-fashioned values, she trusted the suspect until he cruelly and forcefully removed her rings, including her wedding band, which is of huge sentimental value.
“The incident has had an irreparable impact on the victim.”