Three-and-a-half years in jail for career criminal who preyed on elderly
A "CAREER criminal" with a terrible history of conning elderly victims has been jailed for burgling the home an 89-year-old neighbour.
Anthony Robson, of Ebrington Street, was caged for three and a half years at Plymouth Crown Court yesterday.
He pleaded guilty on the day of trial to stealing the vulnerable woman's handbag in April.
Police had tracked him down from a thumbprint found on a plastic bag he discarded outside her front door.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
Judge Graham Cottle described the 39-year-old's lifelong criminal record as "terrible".
The court heard he has 21 previous convictions – the first shortly before his 12th birthday.
Many of his crimes were distraction burglaries or robberies involving older people.
Robson and a co-accused were jailed for nine years in 2003 for the robbery and manslaughter of an 81-year-old woman. Patricia Hughes died in hospital 20 days after they snatched her handbag.
In June this year, Robson was jailed for the theft of £80,000 of antique gold coins from an elderly Barbican shopkeeper.
Judge Cottle said: "The offence that you committed on this occasion is almost a carbon copy of offences that you have previously committed – where you have taken advantage of a vulnerable elderly person by using distraction techniques and have stolen from that person.
"You appear to me to be a career criminal, a depressing conclusion at the age of almost 40, but there it is."
The court heard Robson conned his way in to the flat of a vulnerable woman who lived close to his home near the city centre on April 7. He asked to borrow plastic bags and complained his car tyres had been damaged.
While she was searching for bags, he snatched her handbag, which contained £36 cash and personal items.
Police identified Robson by a thumb print found on one of the plastic bags – which he had thrown away outside. He was arrested four days after the crime.
The court heard the victim had suffered from worsening depression, anxiety and sight problems after the crime.
Piers Norsworthy, for the defence, said Robson has a long and regular record of offending.
"The periods of time he hasn't offended is when, it appears, he's been inside," he said.
Mr Norsworthy said Robson feels "at home" in prison and has become a "product of the institutions he's become a part of".
He said his client had returned to crime after trying and failing to get a job and then make a living as a portrait artist after being released from prison in 2010.