Prolific distraction burglar jailed - Hertfordshire


A man who targeted elderly people across the country appeared at St Albans Crown Court yesterday, Tuesday, 23 April 2013, and was sentenced to 8 years imprisonment after admitting over 30 offences of distraction burglary.

Bernard McDonagh, aged 48, who is of no fixed abode, was arrested on 02 April following a call to a house in Rickmansworth at around 7pm. McDonagh had conned his way into the home of an elderly couple by stating he was investigating a water leak and needed to carry out further investigations. Whilst inside the property he stole cash from a handbag.

Upon arrival officers conducted a search of the area and McDonagh was seen making off from a neighbouring property, having committed a distraction burglary there.

Earlier the same day he had committed a distraction burglary at the home of a couple in their 90s in St Albans. Claiming to be a police officer investigating a suspected intruder, he accessed their property and whilst inside, removed cash.

McDonagh pleaded guilty to six offences of distraction burglary, which occurred in Hertfordshire, Kent and in the West Midlands. He also asked for a further 26 offences he had committed to be taken into consideration at court. These offences occurred in Hertfordshire (Hemel Hempstead and St Albans), Kent, Sussex, London, Staffordshire, the West Midlands, Bedfordshire and Hampshire, and were committed between November 2012 and April 2013.