Man burgled pensioner's room in a nursing home
A drug addict who burgled homes to pay for his next fix has been jailed for five years.
Paul Hammond was so desperate he stole from a pensioner’s room in a nursing home, Bristol Crown Court heard.
He also escaped police custody, when taken to hospital, by climbing out of a toilet window and breaking into a cottage nearby.
Hammond, 39, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to two burglaries and escape, all last month.
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Judge Carol Hagen told him: “The only mitigation is your plea of guilt and your remorse.
“Count one was a particularly serious burglary, at night-time on a vulnerable, elderly occupant.
“I very much hope you will be clean of drugs and make a fresh start.”
Kenneth Bell, prosecuting, said Hammond plundered credit cards, keys and a diary from a room at St Agnes nursing home in Weston-super-Mare.
He said 77-year-old resident Harry Whitehead was woken at 3am to see a light and Hammond crouching in his room.
Mr Bell told the court: “Mr Whitehead asked ‘what are you doing?
“The man climbed out of the window.”
The court heard the pensioner was greatly affected by the break-in and now sleeps with his window shut.
Three days later Hammond plundered jewellery and computer equipment from Moorland Road, Weston-super-Mare.
Mr Bell said one householder accused the other of leaving the place looking like it had been burgled, before they realised it had been.
Items stolen included four rings worth £2,000, the court heard.
Later that day Hammond was arrested, whilst hiding in a church, for the nursing home burglary.
At the scene was a bag of clothes and used needles.
Mr Bell said that, while in police custody at hospital, Hammond climbed through a toilet window and burgled a home.
Hammond told police he offended whilst withdrawing from heroin.
He had used the pensioner’s bank card to withdraw £250 after finding the card’s PIN written on a bank statement.
Derek Perry, defending, said his client was remorseful, candid and knew wrong from right.
He said that when clean of drugs Hammond was a presentable, decent and personable man.
The judge told him: “That’s the tragedy of the drug.”
Mr Perry said: “He got the stuff. He got the money. He got the drugs.”