The accomplice of a burglar who stole hundreds of pounds in cash from a 94-year-old man has escaped jail.
Opportunist thief Paul Henry broke in through an unlocked door at the victim’s home in the Meadows in November, stealing £700 in cash and a bank card which he used to withdraw more money and buy items at shops in Nottingham.
CCTV in one of those shops filmed him using the victim’s card to make a purchase at a city centre clothes shop, which enabled the investigating detectives to link Henry to other transactions in which the card had been used.
DS Kayne Rukas and DC Parminder Dhillon were able to clearly identify Henry when they saw him walking through the Bridgway Centre in the Meadows and arrested him. A search of the 47-year-old’s home in nearby Oxbow Close uncovered more evidence, including clothing and receipts, linking Henry to the use of the victim’s bank card.
It also emerged that Henry had an accomplice, who arrived at Henry’s home while officers were carrying out the police search.
Christopher Simey (26) of Carlingford Road, Hucknall, was arrested and subsequently charged with four counts of handling stolen goods, while Henry was charged with burglary and ten counts of fraud.
After being found guilty at the end of a three-day trial at Nottingham Crown Court, Henry was sentenced to six years in prison.
Simey, who had pleaded guilty, was given a nine month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £100 costs.
DC Dhillon said: “Henry is an unscrupulous burglary who through nothing of taking advantage of an elderly and vulnerable victim to in order to steal hundreds of pounds and purchase goods.
“Thanks to the co-operation of the retail establishments visited by Henry we able to clearly identify his use of the card and also to clearly identify him, enabling us to make the arrest.
“Burglary is a traumatic experience for any victim, but Henry compounded that sense of distress in this case by his use of the victim’s card. Each time he used it, he committed a further crime against his victim.
“Despite the evidence against him, Henry made matters worse by denying the offences and ensuring public money had to be spent on his trial. The six year prison sentence sends out a clear message that the police, the Crown Prosecution Service and the courts will take a very hard line against criminals who try to exploit their victims and the criminal justice system.”