Morecambe burglar forced his way into vulnerable 90-year-old woman's home and stole her purse as she slept

A burglar who stole a pensioner's purse and bank cards has been jailed for three years.

Intruder Scott Taylor, 26, of Euston Road, Morecambe, admits he went on to commit a string of hotel burglaries and associated card frauds while being investigated for the break in at the pensioner's home.

Crown Court

Crown Court

Her purse had contained just £10, Preston Crown Court was told, but Taylor fraudulently bought things using her contactless bank card.

Prosecuting, David Clarke said the elderly woman, who lives on Tarnbrook Court, Morecambe, had gone to bed at around 1am on August 4,.

He said: "Around midday she woke up. Her son in law telephoned her very slightly afterwards and he had power of attorney over her finances.

"He had received an automated call from Halifax noting repeat uses of her debit card that morning.

"He checked with his mother-in-law about her card but she couldn't find her purse.

"Neighbours were alerted. They came in to help her and it became clear very quickly she had been the victim of a burglary. Her window blind had been rolled up, the window was bent out of place and was forced open.

"Items had been moved off the windowsill."

A probe found Taylor used her card at 2.15am and 5am at Regent Filling station, and 9.50am and 9.52am at Ryelands Mini Market.

He was identified through footwear marks taken from the pensioner's windowsill and CCTV.

On October 27, 2019, Taylor burgled the Auckland Hotel in Morecambe, stealing a money box, a phone charger lead and the hotel's master keys - it will cost £3,000 to replace the hotel's bedroom door locks.

Taylor also burgled two staff rooms at Lancaster and Morecambe College on November 4 and 18, 2019, and used two worker's cards fraudulently.

On December 9, 2019, he burgled Morecambe's Midland Hotel, stealing cards and cash belonging to two members of staff and making fraudulent transactions.

Taylor admits five burglaries, six frauds and possessing cannabis.

Defending, Chris Hudson said: "This is a young man who's lost his way."

He described a broken family background, and a series of temporary jobs at a chip shop and warehouses.

Judge Philip Parry, sentencing, said: "She knew nothing about what had happened but you did.

"You were out wandering the streets in the early hours of that morning.

"You saw her window was open and you forced it further open and you entered her home and you took her purse and cards from downstairs.

"But all the while you must have known the homeowner was in. You may not have known she was 90 but that's the risk you take when you enter someone's home ...and you'll now pay the consequences, I'm afraid, of that."