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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 August, 2003, 18:01 GMT 19:01 UK
Mugger gets life for attacks on elderly
Sabul Miah
Miah was told he was a "grave danger" to the elderly
A violent mugger who attacked pensioners in London to fund his crack and heroin habit has received two life sentences.

Sabul Miah, 28, stabbed an elderly war veteran in the chest and knifed an 82-year-old woman in the hand as well as attacking three others for their pensions.

Miah, from Poplar, east London admitted attacking five people between 30 December 2002 and 25 February this year.

Charges relating to 10 other attacks on pensioners were not proceeded with but were left on his file.

Sentencing him to two life terms at Southwark Crown Court, Judge Geoffrey Rivlin told Miah he had embarked on a series of "persistent and cruel crimes against the elderly".

Among the victims was 79-year-old George Rowe who was stabbed in the chest and had his throat slit at his own home in Tower Hamlets, east London.

In the end he was not frightened of dying, only of living
Patricia McFarlane, victim's daughter
Mr Rowe's daughter, Patricia McFarlane, said "the lights went from his eyes" after Miah attacked him for his pension.

As he was treated in hospital, doctors found he had lung cancer from which he subsequently died.

"I will never know how long he would have lived if he had not been stabbed that day," said Mrs McFarlane.

"It has devastated our family. We feel ripped apart by this.

"In the end he was not frightened of dying, only of living."

George Cameron, 83, tried to fight Miah off with his walking stick when he was mugged in Tower Hamlets, but was pushed to the floor while Miah searched for his pension

And Miah tried to snatch 82-year-old Sarah Mundy's bag as he returned home to Tower Hamlets with her pension.

When she told him he was not having it, Miah stabbed her hand.

Miah received two life terms for robbing and wounding Mr Rowe and separate jail terms for the other offences.

No sign of mercy

The judge told Miah he presented a "grave danger" to the public, particularly pensioners, and there was no way of telling when the danger would pass.

He said: "These were heartrending offences committed against some of the most vulnerable people in the community without the least sign of mercy.

"The harrowing effect on your victims and their families cannot be overstated.

"The courts will do everything to protect people against such terrible crime."

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