A BOGUS builder who twice preyed on an 85-year-old Bradford man with dementia has been jailed for five years.

The judge locking up John Hanrahan labelled him “a serial predator who seeks out the weak.”

Hanrahan told his frail and vulnerable victim he had done work on the guttering at his address in the East Bowling area of Bradford before asking for a drink of water and stealing £300, Bradford Crown Court heard today.

He returned to the address just over a week later with another man. They walked straight into the pensioner’s home claiming to have carried out work on the property.

Prosecutor Andrea Parnham said it was not known if Hanrahan stole anything on this occasion.

Hanrahan was a “third strike” house burglar who had been recalled to prison on licence.

He was sentenced on a video link to HMP Leeds and using the Skype service.

Miss Parnham said Hanrahan had 12 previous convictions for 33 offences, including four house burglaries. He had served jail sentences of four years, five and a half years, five years and 41 months.

Hanrahan, of Station Lane, Featherstone, near Wakefield, pleaded guilty to burgling the pensioner on January 14 and 23.

On the first occasion, he left the address after three minutes with something tucked under his arm.

He was caught on camera because the property was fitted with a CCTV doorbell.

One of the victim’s daughters had dropped off £300 for him earlier that day and discovered it was missing. When she showed her father a photo of the intruder, he recognised him as the man asking for a drink of water.

Nine days later, Hanrahan called round again, this time with another man. He said he had done work at the address and walked straight in. When the pensioner disputed that he owed him anything, Hanrahan left.

Miss Parnham said Hanrahan’s previous convictions were of a similar nature, being bogus caller burglaries targeting vulnerable people.

Ayman Khokhar, Hanrahan’s barrister, said his client had made some progress when he was released from prison in July last year. He kept appointments and complied with the conditions of his licence but “returned to his old ways” in January.

Judge Jonathan Rose told Hanrahan: “You are a serial predator who seeks out the vulnerable and the weak and commits really terrible offences against them.”

Hanrahan did not plead guilty at the first opportunity although he knew full well he had committed the burglaries.

“You very clearly intend to go on doing this and the elderly and the vulnerable are entitled to protection from you,” Judge Rose said.