A drug-addict mother who twice burgled a vulnerable elderly couple has been jailed for three years and four months.
Danielle Fletcher was high on heroin when she repeatedly targeted the “kind and sympathetic” pensioners at their bungalow in sheltered accommodation, Bradford Crown Court heard yesterday.
Fletcher, 32, of Landscove Avenue, Holme Wood, Bradford, singled out the husband and wife, in their mid-70s, because of their age and the fact they could have had difficulty remembering things, Judge Peter Benson said. Prosecutor Simon Haring said Fletcher, the mother of a young daughter, had eight previous convictions for housebreaking. In 2003, she was locked up for four years for aggravated burglary.
On the evening of October 10 last year, Fletcher knocked on the door at the couple’s home in Copgrove Close, Holme Wood. They knew her because she had asked them for money in the past. The door was bolted against her but Fletcher sneaked around the back and through the kitchen door.
While the couple were distracted, she stole £30 from a trouser pocket and the elderly woman’s purse containing £40.
Three days later, Fletcher smashed her way into the bungalow at night while the couple were asleep.
She hurled a plant pot through a window and made off with the television set, letting herself out with the keys to the property, which she also stole.
Fletcher’s blood was found at the property and she was arrested and held in custody.
Her solicitor advocate, Tracey Roberts, said Fletcher had been addicted to heroin since she was a teenager.
She tried hard to wean herself off the drug but came off the methadone substitute too soon.
Fletcher became very depressed when her mother died and she began to self-harm.
She went back to taking heroin and was again addicted when she burgled the couple.
Fletcher took diazapan and cider before the second burglary and had little recollection of it.
“She welcomes a prison sentence as an opportunity to make the changes she needs to her life,” Miss Roberts said.
Judge Benson said: “These were targeted offences against a vulnerable couple.”
Although Fletcher’s remorse was genuine, she had numerous convictions for house burglary and these were very serious offences.”
After the case, Detective Inspector Stuart Lyons, of Bradford District CID, said: “Fletcher callously targeted the same people just three days after stealing a purse from their property. We welcome the sentence passed down today and hope that it will give her victims some comfort, as well as send out a message that those who involve themselves in this sort of crime can expect a similar outcome.”