A pickpocket who preyed on elderly people using buses has been jailed for six years.

Constantin Gonaciou, 49, stole large quantities of money from vulnerable women as they travelled on buses in a series of crimes over the past two years.

Mr Gonaciou worked with a 43-year-old man called Petrisor Ionita to steal £800 from a 79-year-old on the 121 route bus in Hertford Road.

Gonaciou then faked a heart attack to distract the woman as she was getting off the bus and stole the money.

He pleaded guilty to two counts of theft and was sentenced to three years imprisonment for each offence. The sentences will run consecutively.

The thief had committed a similar offence in South London when he stole £500 from an 80-year-old’s bag.

Chief Superintendent Sultan Taylor, of Safer Transport Command said: “This is a great result, which has seen two pickpockets who targeted the elderly, receive lengthy jail terms as well as being ordered to pay back the money stolen.

"The Safer Transport Command with its partners Transport for London has a primary aim to safeguard the travelling public from criminals and to keep them safe whilst using London's bus system."