Burglar jailed for stealing handbag of an elderly woman - St Albans

06/03/2014

Burglar Duncan Gordon was jailed for 27 months today, Thursday, 06 March 2014, for stealing the handbag of an elderly Hemel Hempstead woman.

Gordon, 31, called at the home in Crawley Drive in the town as the woman aged 71, and her husband aged 69, arrived back from an afternoon shopping trip.

Isable Delamere, prosecuting, told St Albans Crown Court that Gordon told them he needed water for his car. He borrowed a plastic container from a neighbour and once inside their house he stole the handbag. He took out two purses and returned one that had no money in it.

Ms Delamere said the wife acts as a carer for her husband, who has dementia. But she said that they have reacted "stoically" to the burglary and said they were not going to be frightened by it.

Gordon, of Gadebridge Point, Hemel, was arrested nine days later after descriptions of the thief were given to the police by the couple and their neighbours. He pleaded guilty to burglary on 01 October last year. In 2003 he had been jailed for 54 months for robbery and in April last year had been given an 8 week jail sentence for driving with excess alcohol.

Henry Vallance, defending, said it was an unpleasant burglary, but he said it was not in the middle of the night and no violence had been used. The court was told Gordon had a drug problem.

Jailing him, Judge Andrew Bright QC said: "These kinds of burglaries are becoming more common. Taking advantage of elderly people is a mean and nasty thing to do. The court has to make an example when people are caught doing it."

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