Jail sentence cut for con-man Gul Faraz who pretended to have supernatural powers
A con-man who pretended to have supernatural powers to steal jewellery from the sick and elderly has had his jail sentence cut on appeal.
Gul Faraz (54) preyed on vulnerable people in Leicester and elsewhere whom he thought likely to be taken in by his claims to higher powers.
He pleaded guilty to three burglaries and attempted theft and was sentenced to six years' imprisonment at Snaresbrook Crown Court in August.
However, after an appeal by his lawyers, Lord Justice Elias, Mr Justice Hamblen and Judge John Bevan QC cut the sentence to five years.
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"These are rightly described as despicable offences," said Judge Bevan.
The Court of Appeal heard Faraz struck first in March when he knocked at the door of a family home and claimed he could sense "evil spirits".
He was told to leave, but returned when the husband had gone away, talking his way into the house in order to pray and cleanse it of evil.
Faraz told the woman occupant to put her jewellery into a bowl of water, which immediately turned red, before he wrapped it in a pillow and told her to turn away.
When she looked back, she saw him putting his hand into his pocket.
He was restrained and, when police arrived, was found to have the jewellery.
Bailed, Faraz, of Cambridge Avenue, Peterborough, moved on to London, where he struck three times in quick succession in March and April.
Using similar techniques, he conned a family into thinking he had spiritual powers.
He got away with about £3,000 worth of jewellery, which he had placed in a bowl of water, but replaced with stones.
Similar rituals at homes in Bow and Stepney resulted in yields of £2,500 and £1,200 worth of jewellery.
After considering Faraz's appeal, the judges agreed the sentence passed at the crown court was excessive and reduced it to five years.
Judge Bevan said the sentencing judge had taken too high a "starting point" for the term.