Judge slams thief for OAP’s trauma

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AN 88-year-old Wigan widower has been left feeling unsafe in his own home after a burglar broke in while he was out, a court heard.

The pensioner went out shopping for three hours and returned to find the kitchen window had been forced open, his living room was “in a mess” and his bedrooms had been ransacked.

His camera, containing sentimental photos, two televisions and a video cassette recorder had been stolen.

Shortly afterwards Craig Porter sold the camera and the smaller television at Buy and Sell Cash in Wigan for £50.

Harry Pepper, prosecuting, told Liverpool Crown Court that the camera was eventually returned to the victim but without the memory card.

In an impact statement the victim said he had lived in his home in Bickershaw for 50 years but no longer felt safe and felt scared to go to bed.

“I feel my home has been invaded by a stranger. My home was always where I felt safe but no longer, I feel very very scared now.”

Porter, 29, of Beacon Road, Bickershaw, pleaded guilty to thatraid, on December 29 last year.

He denied committing another burglary at a house in Victoria Terrace, Bickershaw, eight days earlier.

But he admitted handling a camera stolen during that December 21 break-in.

Mr Pepper said that that £411 camera was sold later the same day at the same pawnbrokers Porter used after the other offence.

The court heard that Porter, who started using cannabis when aged just 12, has 33 previous convictions for 108 offences including 41 thefts.

Jailing him for 28 months, Judge Brian Lewis said that the victim’s home “is no doubt for him packed with memories.

“It is the place where he always felt safe. All that ended thanks to you.

“He went out to do some shopping...when he came back he found that sanctuary, his home, had been despoiled by you.”

Rebecca Smith, defending, said that Porter had been in debt and he and his partner subjected to violence.

She said he is very remorseful and has refused to take drugs in prison as he bids to mend his ways.