Sunday, 4 December 2011

Lancaster Cold Call Burglar gets four years

James Stovold
A burglar who targeted an elderly woman days after being released from prison for an earlier offence against her has been jailed for four years.

James Stovold, of Windholme, Lancaster, has also been handed a CRASBO which will prevent him from cold calling at people’s homes to try and carry out building or maintenance work.

On 27th July, 28-year-old Stovold called at the Beaumont home of a 78-year-old woman who suffers from dementia and after gaining access to the address told her that she owed him money for work that he had done on her house. Stovold had in fact not carried out any work and a maintenance man who was legitimately in the property became suspicious and contacted the police.

Officers quickly established that the caller at the property was Stovold as he had previously targeted the pensioner and had only just been released from prison for the offence.

At a previous hearing at Preston Crown Court, Stovold pleaded guilty to burglary with intent to steal. Appearing on Friday for sentence, Stovold was jailed for four years. He was also given a 10-year CRASBO which bans him from calling at private dwellings uninvited in order to secure or carry out building repairs or maintenance work. It also prevents him from contacting his previous victims. The conditions will come into force when he is released from prison.

Speaking after the sentencing, Detective Constable Sue Palmer, Lancaster CID, said: “Stovold saw an opportunity to prey on a vulnerable woman who he had already stolen from and who he knew he could take advantage of. His intentions were brazen and callous. Fortunately the quick thinking of a man who was legitimately working at the property prevented this from happening.

“The sentence handed to him should act as a deterrent to other criminals and also provides protection to the elderly members of our community.”

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