Brazen thief who stole £100,000 of jewellery from his wealthy girlfriend while she was having a massage jailed

18 March 2024, 19:35

Abdow Abdurahman
Abdow Abdurahman. Picture: Handout
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

A brazen thief who stole £100,000 worth of jewellery from his wealthy girlfriend while she was having a massage at a five-star hotel in Soho has been jailed.

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Abdow Abdurahman, 39, stole the jewellery, including a £11,000 Rolex, while she visited him from her home in New York.

They were staying at the W Hotel in Soho, central London, when Ms Roopnarine decided to go for a massage downstairs.

When she went back upstairs to her room, her belongings - which included a Rolex Datejust and a Rolex Yachtmaster - had been taken.

Abdurahman left a note for his girlfriend, telling her he would make it up to her, claiming he needed £50,000 to pay off his debt.

He claimed that he took her jewellery because his business was failing.

"It was a life or death situation. I will make it up to you," the note read.

The W Hotel in Soho
The W Hotel in Soho. Picture: Alamy

Abdurahman then went on the run as he was due to be sentenced in December but handed himself in weeks later.

He has since been jailed for two years, with one month consecutive for fleeing.

"I can recover from the financial loss, but I cannot recover from the emotional loss, as the gold jewellery was passed on to me from my ancestors, and that is something I can never get back," Ms Roopnarine said in an emotional victim statement.

"This theft by someone I trusted and cared for deeply left me emotionally shattered.

"The betrayal and violation of trust resulted in me feeling an overwhelming sense of heartbreak and sadness and a deep sense of personal betrayal."

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Judge David Tomlinson told Abdurahman: "I accept that at the time of the offence you had a legitimate business that was struggling financially.

"I accept that you are remorseful and you wish you could turn back the clock.

"However, it does seem that earlier attempts by Ms Roopnarine to approach you in the immediate aftermath of the theft were frustrated. It seems that you blocked her.

"The fact that you absconded rather undermines the credit that you would have been entitled to.'You took advantage of her vulnerability and trust rather than intentionally targeting her."

Detective Constable Terry Henry, who headed up the investigation, said: "Abdow undermined the trust of a woman who would have done anything for him, had he just asked.

"Instead he went behind her back and not only stole her irreplaceable and cherished possessions but also left her heartbroken.

"Abdow tried to take what he thought was the easy way out, but thanks to our extensive CCTV analysis and detailed victim and witness statements, we were able to provide enough evidence to convince the jury of his guilt."

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