A CALLOUS burglar who broke into a vulnerable Stratford woman’s flat after learning she had been admitted to hospital was still inside with his accomplice when the police arrived.
And at Warwick Crown Court, Stuart Nash and Cameron Stewart both pleaded guilty to burgling the flat in Masons Way with intent to steal.
Nash, 39, of Hampstead Road, Handsworth, Birmingham, who the court heard was a ‘third strike’ burglar, was jailed for two years and five months.
But Stewart, 18, of Pershore Road, Birmingham, who was of previous good character, was sentenced to 12 weeks detention suspended for 18 months, with a rehabilitation activity.
Prosecutor Scott Coughtrie said the victim of the burglary was a woman who suffers from a mental health condition.
In September last year she was admitted to hospital after the police forced their way into her home because of concerns for her welfare – and a padlock was fitted to secure the door.
CCTV recordings from a camera at the flats showed both defendants, who knew someone in a neighbouring flat, walking past the padlocked door throughout the afternoon of September 14.
They later broke in. Nash used the bolt croppers to cut off the padlock before handing them to Stewart who took them back to their friend’s flat where they were later found behind the sofa.
Stewart then returned and joined Nash inside the flat where they carried out a search and began placing items including a purse on the woman’s bed, ready to take with them.
But the break-in had been reported, and they were still inside when police arrived and found them.
They were both arrested, together with their friend, against whom no action was taken.
Ian Gold, for Nash, said he accepted responsibility for the break-in, while Aadhithya Anbahan, for Stewart, said he had expressed “real remorse” for what happened.