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Man who preyed on gay community given five year jail sentence

By Laura Trowbridge     Mar 20, 2010 in Crime
Nicholas Rowell, 44, targeted gay men in Sussex, England through dating websites while using the name "Slick Nick", and then he stole their valuables.
"Slick Nick" Rowell befriended a man from Etchingham, East Sussex, visiting him several times before stealing his car, cash, phone and laptop in June 2009.
During the same month he also befriended a transvestite man from Brighton through the website After meeting the man several times he ended up stealing his jewellery, laptop, mobile phone, camera and debit card.
In both cases he gained the men's confidence, stayed overnight with them, and was given house keys. He then disappeared with their property.
He also targeted a bed and breakfast business in Horsham in September 2009. He paid for his room, waited for the owners to leave, and then stole cash, jewellery and even their grandmother clock.
Rowell pleaded guilty to two counts of theft and one of burglary and was sentenced to five years in jail.
Nick Antjoule, Brighton LGBT Liaison officer from Sussex Police's anti victimisation unit, said: "By working together across Sussex and with other police forces we were able to identify and arrest the offender.
"Hopefully this case will send a positive message that Sussex Police makes every effort to ensure that allegations of this kind are thoroughly investigated and offenders brought to justice.
"Equally important is the message it sends to people contemplating such crimes. You will not get away with it."
More about Sussex, Gay community, Robbed, Nicholas rowell, Jail sentence
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