Man who ‘preyed’ on gay men and robbed them jailed for over a decade

A man who was “preying on members of the gay community” in order to rob and burgle them has been jailed for more than a decade. 

Reda Zahri, 22, of Haverstock Road in North West London, was jailed for 11 years and six months on Friday (1 March), after previously pleading guilty to three counts of burglary, one count of false imprisonment and one count of attempting to commit robbery relating to three different men.

Zahri, who stole more than £25,000 from one victim using a suitcase, was able to commit his crimes by gaining the trust of gay men, often engaging in sexual activity, in order to target them for their belongings, the court heard.

After he was arrested in May 2022, Zahri initially claimed he was 17 years old, which would have meant he was tried as a juvenile. However, police disproved this after tracking down his past links to Germany.

Detective constable Nigel Pacquette from the safeguarding team based at Charing Cross Police Station, who led the investigation said:  “All three of Zahri’s victims were gay men, making clear that he was preying on members of the gay community.

“I also hope this sends out a strong message that the police will investigate anyone and everyone who has been a victim of crime.”

Pacquette added: “It is entirely plausible that Zahri targeted other people who, for whatever reason, have not had the confidence to come forward and report this. I would urge you to please make contact with police so we can investigate any allegations thoroughly.”

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