News: Burglar who preyed on the elderly jailed for 18 years
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A burglar who preyed on the elderly in robberies and break-ins across Staffordshire has today (March 24) been sentenced to 18 years in prison at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court.
Jason O’Connor, aged 41, of no fixed address, was sentenced for two burglaries and two robberies, and handling, at addresses in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Trentham and Stafford committed in October last year.
O’Connor broke into a house in Stone Road, Trentham, on 20 October 2016 and robbed 98-year-old Elsie Bird, taking her wedding ring and other jewellery from her fingers.
The incident left her shaken with badly bruised fingers. He also stole other jewellery and cash.
Mrs Bird, who was bed-ridden, died four weeks later at home.
On 29 October 2016 O’Connor subjected a 76-year-old Stafford man to a robbery in Vaughan Way, where he held a knife to his victim’s face, held him down and kneed him in the back before taking his bank cards and mobile phone.
Later on the same day O’Connor burgled a house in Coppice Way, Stafford and stole £67,000 worth of jewellery, electrical items and clothing.
Detective Inspector Phil Bryan, of Staffordshire Police’s Force Safeguarding and Investigation (North) said the breakthrough came when forensic evidence linked O’ Connor to a burglary in Wellend Grove, Newcastle-under-Lyme, on 28 October.
“He used a garden tool to smash a window and enter the property and we were able to gather forensic evidence from O’ Connor on this trowel.”
During this burglary, O’Connor, who is originally from Birmingham, took rings from the fingers of his elderly victim while she slept.
He was arrested in the Tunstall area on 2 November 2016 and remanded in custody.
DI Bryan added: "We will relentlessly pursue offenders who target the vulnerable in our communities. Our thoughts are very much with the victims and their families.”
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