Man convicted of Dagenham burglary sentenced to 20 years


A man who claimed to be from the water board to gain entry into the Dagenham home of a vulnerable 86-year-old woman and then violently attacked her, has been sentenced to 20 years today (September 12th) at Snaresbrook Crown Court.

Thomas Lee, 40, was convicted after trial of the aggravated burglary last September and for handling stolen goods relating to a Ford Transit van, which the prosecution say he used for the burglary. He was also sentenced today for a robbery on October 10th 2015, to which he had already pleaded guilty. The Judge extended Lee's licence period by five years to factor in his dangerousness.

CPS London Reviewing Lawyer Karen Dubarry said: "Lee tricked his way into the home of his vulnerable 86-year-old victim by pretending to be from the water board and wearing a high visibility jacket. Once indoors he violently attacked her, tried to stifle her with a bath mat and then stabbed her in the hand with a chisel, all whilst demanding money. The elderly lady was so traumatised by the attack that she was unable to give evidence at the trial and we hope that the sentence given to Lee provides her with some comfort.

"The police investigation discovered Lee's DNA on the chisel left at the property, on the elderly woman's dress and also in a stolen Ford Transit van, which had been seen near the property and was tracked using automatic number plate recognition.

"This was a pre-planned and cowardly crime and Lee, an extremely dangerous man who has a history of committing similar crimes against elderly women, will now serve a long prison sentence."

Charge details and sentence:

  • Aggravated Burglary (11th September, 2015) - 12 years
  • Handling Stolen Goods (31st August, 2015) - 1 year (concurrent)
  • Robbery (October 10th, 2015) - 3 years (consecutive) Lee robbed a woman of a bag on a road in east London
  • Extended licence period - 5 years.

Previous Convictions:

  • On the 19th December 1995 Lee entered the dwelling of a 92-year-old female by removing a pane of glass. Once inside he confronted the elderly lady and struck her with an iron causing a fractured cheekbone. The lady never left hospital and died two months later.
  • Lee was also convicted of two separate dwelling burglaries. In the first on 17th March 2003, the he posed as a water board official to enter the dwelling of a 102-year-old lady. Once inside he turned on the taps and then stole her purse containing £60 in cash. The second was on 31st March 2003 where Lee posed as a member of social services to enter the dwelling of an 80-year-old lady. Once inside he stole £35 cash and a pen.