Burglar who tied David Varlow, 78, to chair in Halesowen home and left him to die jailed

A man who murdered a 78-year-old by breaking into his home, tying him up and leaving him to die after ransacking the place has been sentenced to life in prison.

Adris Mohammed, 44, of Icknield Port Road, Birmingham, broke into David Varlow's home in Halesowen in the early hours of November 3 last year.

Mohammed was sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court to life in prison - with a minimum of 33 years - for killing Mr Varlow.

He tied up the elderly man, threatened him with a knife in order to get his pin number, and then stole his bank card.

He and others who used the card went on to spend £8,000 from the pensioner's account, while he remained tied to a chair in his home.

Before leaving the house, the court heard Mohammed cut the phone lines, to ensure Mr Varlow couldn't raise the alarm, and prevent his spending spree.

Mr Varlow died from a heart attack brought on by the stress of the ordeal and was only discovered weeks later when his brother and neighbours raised the alarm.

Pensioner died from a heart attack brought on by the stress of the ordeal

Adris Mohammed has been jailed Credit: PA

Police say Mohammed returned to Mr Varlow's house again nine days later with another man and untied him, knowing he was dead. They then stole a second bank card.

Mr Varlow was only found two weeks later when a neighbour who hadn't seen him for a while contacted police. He was surrounded by his ransacked belongings, and a knife lay next to his body.

Police have called it a "horrific attack" on an elderly man in his own home.

Adris Mohammed had denied all the charges against him but his DNA was found on the knife, scissors and cable left at the scene. He was found guilty of attempted burglary, aggravated burglary, murder, fraud and burglary.

'It's an horrific case', judge says

Adris Mohammed caught on CCTV after the theft from Mr Varlow's house. Credit: West Midlands Police

Passing sentence, the Recorder of Birmingham Melbourne Inman QC said the murderin November last year, which saw Mr Varlow die from a heart attack, could "onlyproperly be described as an horrific case".

The judge told Mohammed: "Having seen you give evidence it's clear you havenot a shred of remorse.

"You knew Mr Varlow would be at home and when you confronted him you set abouta deliberate and calculated course of action in tying him in the way you did.

"You intended to kill him by leaving him immobile without food or water."

Speaking to ITV Central, his nieces Claire Day and Helen Louise Varlow, described how poignant it was during the trial to watch Mr Varlow's final trip to Asda to buy groceries.

"He was the kindest, gentlest soul you could ever meet. And he lived a very simple life, didn't care for expensive things. He was quite happy going about his daily routines.

"It was hard, so hard, but nice at the same time just seeing CCTV of him doing his little routine journey to Asda in Halesowen, seeing him for one last time was hard but nice.

"And you sometimes don't realise that a little journey to Asda might be the last one that you do.

"We can't think about it. The things we've heard in court, you just need to put them to the back of your mind. But it's horrible to think that happened to your family member.

"It's just cruel.

"It's hard at any time when you lose a friend or a family member, but to lose someone in these circumstances is just awful."

Co-defendant O’Shay Swan, 42, of Winson Green Road, Birmingham, was jailed for six years for burglary and fraud after going with Mohammed to Manor Lane on November 11-12, and being involved in using Mr Varlow’s bank card.