Restraining order for man who met his victim through online advert

A 23-year-old man has been given a five-year restraining order after ransacking the home of a man he approached through an online advert.

Balal Ali, of West Quadrant, Sheffield was charged with robbery in connection to an incident in the Netherthorpe area of Sheffield on 21 March. He pleaded guilty to theft and affray at Sheffield Crown Court on Wednesday 17 October.

Ali had responded to an advert posted by his victim on an online classified advert site. Whilst at the address listed, Ali turned violent, demanding money from the victim and then ransacked the property, stealing a range of high value items including iPads, phones and collectables.

Ali also made threats throughout the incident, which has had a lasting impact on the victim.

DC Yvonne Fairbrother, the investigating officer in the case, said: “Ali’s DNA was discovered at the victim’s home by Crime Scene Investigators; we later recovered the stolen property from his home address and returned it to the victim.”

Ali appeared at Sheffield Crown Court on Friday 19 October for sentencing, where he was also served a 21-month suspended sentence, asked to complete 200 hours of unpaid community work and pay compensation to his victim.

DC Fairbrother continued: “Ali took advantage of the victim, who trusted him with personal information, and I’m pleased he has been held responsible for his actions that day.

“Posting adverts online can often mean that we are also posting personal information. I’d advise anyone doing so to take precautions when using such sites.

“Think carefully about posting your home address publicly and if a respondent to your advert is coming to your home, let someone know or maybe ask a family member or friend to be there with you.”