In a busy December for the county’s courts, here are five Hertfordshire criminals who have been convicted this month, including 23 years in jail for an attempted murderer.

1. Andrew Oliver

A man from Cuffley has been jailed for 23 years after attempting to murder his relative for inheritance before leaving her to die.

Andrew Oliver, of Northaw Road East, was sentenced on Monday, December 4, at St Albans Crown Court after a jury found him guilty.

At around 8pm on Friday, January 20, the 56-year-old visited a relative, aged in her 70s, at her address in Cuffley.

Oliver attacked the victim as she was leaving her house, and she fell to the floor, where he began hitting her head against the concrete ground and repeatedly punching her face.

The Comet: Andrew Oliver.Andrew Oliver. (Image: Herts police)

During the attack, the victim offered Oliver money to make him stop but he refused, saying it was not enough and that he needed her inheritance.

He then left the victim outside in the freezing temperatures while he went into her property.

For around nine hours, the victim was left fighting for her life, and Oliver would periodically come back and continue assaulting her.

At one point, Oliver came out of the house with what was believed to be an old dish cloth covered in plastic bags wrapped around his hand. He pressed it against the victim’s airways in an attempt to suffocate her, but she managed to fight him off.

He came out of the house again some time later and attempted to choke her with a handbag strap.

Finally, at around 5am, the victim managed to get up and flee to a neighbour’s house for help. Oliver was arrested by police later that morning.

2. Louis Okai

A drug dealer who escaped prison and spent three years on the run is going back to jail after being arrested in Welwyn Garden City last month.

Louis Okai absconded from HMP Hollesley Bay in Suffolk in December 2020, where he was serving a nine year and three-month sentence for possession with intent to supply class A drugs.

At around 11am on Wednesday, November 1, officers from the proactive Operation Scorpion team stopped the 41-year-old while he was cycling in Ludwick Way in Welwyn Garden City.

The Comet: Louis Okai.Louis Okai. (Image: Herts police)

A search resulted in the seizure of 62 wraps of crack and 26 wraps of heroin, along with a large quantity of cash.

Okai was arrested, and while he was in custody, it was found that he had provided false details.

Officers quickly uncovered his real identity and he was charged with two counts of possession of a class A drug with intent to supply and escaping from lawful custody.

3. Randey Runzilike

A teenager has been jailed for eight years after a string of robberies in Hatfield.

Randey Runzilike, of Macarthur Close in Erith, was sentenced at St Albans Crown Court for four counts of robbery, one attempted robbery, four counts of possession of a bladed article, and assault.

The 19-year-old committed robberies in Bishops Rise, Cavendish Way and Alban Way at the end of March and early April this year, as well as further attempted robbery that took place in College Lane.

The Comet: Randey Runzilike.Randey Runzilike. (Image: Herts police)

"Runzilike targeted young people innocently going about their day and he put them through frightening ordeals," said Detective Inspector Bianca Broadbent, from the Welwyn Hatfield Local Crime Unit.

"I am glad that he is now off the streets and facing punishment for his crimes.

"We know that these incidents caused alarm to the public at the time so I hope this news provides reassures to local residents."

4. Callum Castle

paedophile from Welwyn Garden City who abused a 14-year-old girl has been jailed for more than four years.

Callum Castle was sentenced to four years and eight months behind bars for five offences, including engaging in sexual communications with a child, engaging in sexual activity with a child, child abduction, and making indecent images of a child.

He was sentenced at St Albans Crown Court having pleaded guilty to all offences at an earlier hearing.

He will be put on the Sex Offenders Register and will have to abide indefinitely by the conditions of a lengthy Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

The Comet: Callum Castle.Callum Castle. (Image: Herts police)

The 27-year-old was issued with a Child Abduction Warning Notice on March 14 this year, after concerns were raised about his behaviour.

The notice warned him not to have any contact with his victim, but continued to meet with the girl and assisted in keeping her away from responsible people.

Castle was arrested in May following an investigation into his relationship with the victim, after concerns were raised about contact still taking place between them.

He was bailed with strict conditions not to contact the victim, however the conditions were breached and Castle was re-arrested in June and remanded into custody.

5. Sean Keane

A convicted sex offender has been jailed after Hertfordshire police discovered an Amazon Fire tablet at his home.

Sean Keane has sentenced to two years in prison on Thursday, December 14, for breaching a court order for the second time.

Following a previous conviction, the 61-year-old was supposed to inform the police if he had a new phone or internet device, and of any online aliases that he has used online.

When officers visited his home in London Colney on May 4, he admitted he had bought a new phone a few days earlier from a neighbour.

The Comet: Sean Keane.Sean Keane. (Image: Herts police)

He claimed that he had attempted to call the officer assigned to him, but no longer had his number.

Having denied being in possession of any other devices that could connect to the internet, an Amazon Fire tablet was found after police searched his home.

In addition, the officers discovered that he had been using his mother’s maiden name on Facebook Messenger, without informing them of the alias.

He appeared for sentencing after pleading guilty to three offences of breaching a sexual harm prevention order, and for failing to comply with sex offender notification requirements.

In October 2019, he had been jailed for 33 months for breaking a court order within a week of being sentenced for attempting to communicate with a child, and attempting to meet a child after grooming.

6. Oprea Alexandra

A woman has been jailed for shoplifting from supermarkets and shops in Welwyn Garden City.

Oprea Alexandra, of Spurcroft in Luton, appeared at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court on Thursday,  November 30, where she was sentenced to 16 weeks imprisonment for three counts of shoplifting in Welwyn Garden City and Birmingham, failing to surrender to court for bail, and failing to answer court bail as soon as practicable.

She was also issued a £200 fine to pay John Lewis.

The 19-year-old had been arrested in Sainsbury’s in Welwyn Garden City, on Friday, April 28, alongside a second woman.

Maria Lazar, 23, of Celandine Drive in Luton, was also charged with four counts of shoplifting in Welwyn Garden City, failing to surrender to court for bail, and failing to answer court bail as soon as practicable.

Lazar failed to appear at court and is now wanted for sentencing.