Man stole £20 from birthday card during burglary

A career criminal stole a car containing the elderly victim’s mobility scooter after breaking into the her bungalow and taking the keys.

Derby Crown Court was told how heartless drug addict Jamie Hill even took £20 from a birthday card after forcing his way into the woman’s property.

The defendant took £200 in notes, a mobile phone, a handbag and loose change after raiding the home while she slept upstairs.

And this is his fifth conviction for house break-ins among his lengthy list of previous convictions.

Jailing Hill for 32 months, Recorder Steven Gasztowicz QC said: “There are seriously aggravating features in this case.

“You are 40 years of age and you have convictions for a vast number of offences going back to 1997 when you were 16.

“Most noticeably you have four previous dwelling house burglaries as well as other burglaries of other premises.

“This offence is very serious as it took place during the night-time and the occupant was in the house at the time.

“You took car keys from that address and drove away in the car that was kept outside and contained a mobility scooter that belonged to the occupant.

“But I accept you would not have known the scooter was in the car at the time.”

Sarah Allen, prosecuting, said the victim was elderly and lived at her bungalow in Greenbank Drive, Sutton-in-Ashfield.

She said the woman went to bed to watch TV and fell asleep at around 1am on June 26, 2020.

Miss Allen said: “She woke at around 7am and realised she had been burgled.

“Entry was through the living room window and exit was through the kitchen door.

“Her handbag containing her purse and car keys was gone and the Suzuki motor car was also missing from the driveway.

“£200 in cash and a further £20 from a birthday card was also missing.”

Miss Allen said in the boot of the car was the victim’s mobility scooter which was recovered soon after.

She said Hill, of Brierley Cottage, Sutton-in-Ashfield, was later captured on CCTV entering the Co-op in nearby Huthwaite Road at 2.32am the same morning.

Miss Allen said the defendant was arrested in Lincoln on June 27, the day after the burglary and answered “no comment” to the questions he was asked.

But he later pleaded guilty to burglary and theft.

He has 25 convictions for 54 offences and has previously served jail sentences as long as four years for past burglaries.

Laura Hocknell, mitigating, said on his release her client wishes to move away from the area where the majority of his offending has taken place.

She said: “Mr Hill is in a difficult position because he is now a fifth-striker.

“He has an unhappy record and what will not surprise your honour is that his life has been blighted by class A drug addiction.

“He is very sorry, particularly when he learned the victim was a lady who used a mobility scooter.

“He asks me to apologise to the lady in the house.”