Ilford man loses appeal over fake cop scam sentence

Court doors

Court doors - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

A man who was jailed earlier this year for his role in a fake cop scam to steal from tourists lost his appeal yesterday after top judges ruled he deserves every day of his sentence.

Marian Racman, 40, of Woodland Road, Ilford, turned to crime after starting to use drugs and getting into debt in 2013.

Twice, he joined others to pose as police officers and take money from vulnerable tourists in London.

Racman admitted two thefts and assault by beating and was jailed for three years and four months at Isleworth Crown Court in April.

He appealed yesterday, but three top judges said the worrying rate of such crime meant a deterrent sentence was justified.

Lord Justice Pitchford said crimes like Racman’s undermined confidence in the police and damaged London’s tourist industry.

The Court of Appeal heard Racman, who is of Romanian origin, was part of a group which targeted a Japanese couple in St John’s Wood last November.

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He produced a false warrant card and asked to inspect their passports and money, starting a scuffle when they tried to get their money back.

Other members of his group got away, but Racman was detained by members of the public near St John’s Wood Tube Station.

Fingerprint analysis after his arrest linked him to an earlier crime when another tourist lost more than £2,000 to the fake cop scam.

Giving evidence at the crown court, senior police officers said there was a “worrying” trend towards this sort of crime as 500 similar offences had been reported in London in less than a year before Racman’s offending.

Yesterday, lawyers for Racman argued that the sentence he ultimately received was too tough, but saw their case rejected by appeal judges.

Lord Justice Pitchford, sitting with Mr Justice Dingemans and Judge Peter Rook QC, said the sentence was not “wrong in principle”.

He added: “The judge was entitled to pass a deterrent sentence in the current circumstances.

“Our conclusion is that this sentence of three years and four months in total was entirely appropriate.”

The appeal was dismissed.