Old enough to know better: The septuagenarians whose crimes shocked the city
They say with age comes wisdom, but extra life experience doesn’t stop people from breaking the law. While many criminal cases involve young people, there are regular cases of retirees brought to trial after committing a crime.
From drink-driving to sexual offenses to anti-social behavior, here are some of the shocking cases involving seniors facing court.
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Mowl, 71, was exposed as a pedophile after he unwittingly chatted online with an undercover police officer.
Mowl claimed he was advised to watch pornography online to help his ‘sexual arousal’ due to medical issues, but he continued to upload sick child abuse images, as well as s engaging in sexualized conversations with someone he believed to be a “teenager”.
He asked the “boy” intimate questions and sent him a picture of a penis. He was actually an undercover agent working online to expose pedophiles.
After police attended his home in Stockport and seized electronic devices, officers recovered six Category A indecent images of children, the most serious category, along with three Category B images and 34 images of category C, featuring children aged seven to 12.
Mowl, of Timken Way, Daventry, Northamptonshire, who had no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to three offenses of making indecent images and one count of attempted sexual communication with a child.
He was sentenced to nine months in prison, including 18 months suspended.
A 73-year-old man fired a fake gun at his neighbor in a bizarre row. Anthony Law knocked on the man’s door and said “f******, turn on the lights”, before pointing the “gun” at him.
The couple had never met before and lived in shared sheltered accommodation in Salford. Law had been “very distressed” that the electricity was not working in his apartment and mistakenly believed that his neighbor who lived downstairs was an electrician.
Police attended and seized the lifelike imitation firearm, which resembled a handgun and contained six golden bullets in the chamber. Law had acquired the gun overseas “years ago.” It could fire ammunition but not at an energy level that would make it a formal firearm, the court heard.
Law, of Oswald Close, Salford, pleaded guilty to possession of a fake firearm with intent to fear violence. His attorney said Law had experienced a “marked decline in cognitive function” prior to the incident.
At sentencing, Judge Hilary Manley told the defendant: “You knew that the object you briefly brandished at your downstairs neighbor was not a real firearm. He didn’t know that. It scared him, it made him think he was in danger.” Law was sentenced to a 12-month community order.
Elizabeth Mary Davies
Davies said she was ‘ashamed’ of herself after being dragged through the courts for drunk driving. The 67-year-old had been drinking wine while driving after being pulled over by cops, having been spotted in Glossop town center as she appeared unsteady on her feet.
Police questioned her and Davies said she was fine and had not been drinking. Officers accepted her explanation but decided to follow her for a short distance and then arrest her.
Davies admitted to officers that she was under the influence of alcohol. Prosecutor David Morgan said: “She denied drinking, but then said she had had two glasses of wine.
“She took a sip from a bottle of water, which was actually white wine.” Tests revealed that Davies, who had previous drunk driving convictions since 2012, had 90 micrograms of alcohol in 100ml of breath, more than double the maximum of 35. She was sentenced to a 12-month community prescription and a three-year driving ban. .
After being found with more than a thousand photos of extreme porn and sickening child abuse images, Philip Sansby, 71, claimed he had no idea the photos were illegal.
Sansby, who attended a top independent school, had his home raided by police after receiving a tip. He told officers: “I downloaded it but deleted it.”
During a police interview, he admitted to visiting pornographic websites and downloading adult pornography, but denied having any sexual interest in children. He claimed he had accidentally uploaded indecent images of children on more than one occasion.
After police found the footage on his computer, Sansby later made a “full confession” to police. But he claimed he did not know it was illegal to possess such images. Sansby, of Bradley Green Road in Hyde, received a suspended 12-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to possessing indecent photographs of children and possessing extreme pornography.
Coombes has been described as “toxic” and having “corroded” the community where he lived. Police had received more than 100 calls involving the 73-year-old since 2018, some from Coombes, 73, but also many more from residents complaining about him.
Officers criticized his actions in the village of Llansannan in Conwy, North Wales. Inspector Andrew Kirkham said Coombes was “extremely obstructive” and exhausted the officers.
“His behavior for many years has been described to me as toxic and has corroded the well-being of the village,” he said. He denied four counts of threatening to cause criminal damage, assault causing actual bodily harm, criminal damage and possession of an offensive weapon, but was convicted after a court case.
One of his victims said it triggered his PTSD after he fell victim to the Manchester Arena bombing. Freya Fisher Jones, 18, was with two young men and as they drove through the village, Coombes started waving his arms in the air and threw something at the car.
When they stopped, Coombes pushed one of the men and Mrs. Jones. She was bleeding from her ear and had bruises after Coombes “banged her head several times against a lamp post”. Coombes was jailed for two years following a hearing at the Mold Crown Court.
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