THE daughter of Ted Syrad, who died after being tied up during a robbery at his Barnehurst bungalow, has today said: “I hope killing my dad will haunt you in your dreams forever”.
This morning Gezim Delijah, 41, from Leyton, east London, was jailed for 20 years for killing 64-year-old Mr Syrad at his home in Edendale Road.
Speaking to News Shopper after the sentencing, Mr Syrad’s daughter Julie Cutts paid tribute to her father and she said she will never forgive his killer.
The 45-year-old, who lives in Winn Road, Lee, said: “This illegal immigrant has blown my tight- knit family apart.
“My dad was a kind, caring gentleman and loved having his family around him. His life was stolen from us in his prime.
Julie Cutts, second from left, with members of the Syrad family.
“The police in this case have dedicated their heart and soul to my dad's murder and for that we will forever be grateful."
She added: “This sentence won't bring my father back.
“Nothing will. He leaves behind eight grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
“They will never get to meet such a generous loving granddad.”
Addressing Delijah, Mrs Cutts said: “I hope killing my dad will haunt you in your dreams forever.
“We will never forgive you, ever.”
Jurors at the Old Bailey found Delijah guilty of manslaughter and robbery following a six-day trial yesterday. (May 20)
He was found not guilty of possessing an imitation firearm with intent.
On sentencing Delijah to 20 years behind bars and seven years for robbery, which will run concurrently, Judge Richard Hone QC said: “This was an opportunistic crime.
“You had inside information and was pre-meditated as you turned up wearing balaclava helmets and adhesive tape to tie your victims with the intent to terrify them into giving up their keys to the safe where you knew there was likely to be substantial amounts of cash.”
Mr Syrad’s wife Anne was in bed watching Celebrity Big Brother when two men burst into their home at about 10pm on January 25 last year.
The elderly couple were then tied up with tape by Delijah and a second man with an Irish accent, who has never been caught.
He added: “Mrs Syrad collected the rents that day so you expected the safe would be full. I have no doubt you and your accomplice robbed anticipating rich pickings.”
Mrs Syrad called 999 but paramedics were unable to revive Mr Syrad and he was pronounced dead at 10.35pm.
The post-mortem examination ruled he died of heart failure brought on by a heart condition and injuries to his back, right arm, legs and face.
Mr Justice Hone QC said: “He was a brave man who put up a fight causing a very significant number of injuries inflicted by kicking and punching.
“Your reign of terror lasted the best part of half an hour. It must have seemed an eternity for Mr and Mrs Syrad.
“The victim impact statements show how you have devastated a close-knit family of totally innocent people.”
Delijah will be deported back to Albania, although it is not clear whether this will happen before or after he has served his prison sentence.
Mr Justice Hone QC said: “People of all ages, but especially elderly people, are entitled to feel safe in their own homes.
“Two of you with pre-meditation entered the Syrad’s home and violently assaulted Anne Syrad and killed her vulnerable husband Ted, robbed them of a lot of money and rendered a wife a widow.
“She has left the house and will probably never feel totally safe again.”
He added: “What perhaps the most surprising is that when a charge of murder was dropped you did not plead guilty to manslaughter and show some remorse. Finger prints on the tape was devastating evidence.
“You made Mrs Syrad give evidence and relieve the fatal events to her evident distress during two days in the witness box.”
"We still want to identify the second man"
Detective Chief Inspector Cliff Lyons, who led the investigation, has today re-issued an appeal to trace the second man involved in Mr Syrad's death.
He said: "Gezim Delijah broke into the elderly victims' home and tied up Ted and his wife.
"He beat Ted to a point that he died from a heart attack.
"He stole a substantial amount of cash which has not been recovered.
"On that night he was with another man. Both went armed with tape, balaclavas and a firearm.
"Although we are pleased with today's verdict we still want to identify the second man."
He added: "The callous and brutal actions of Gezim Delija resulted in the death of Edward Syrad.
"This was a terrifying ordeal for Ted and his wife to suffer - made worse by the fact that they were attacked inside their own home.
"Nothing can take back the pain and devastation that Delijah has caused, but I hope today's guilty plea goes some way to getting closure for the Syrad family."
Anyone with information should call 020 8721 4961 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.