Prisoner selling tea towels door-to-door for £30 a pair steals cash from home of elderly woman, 79

Prisoner selling tea towels door-to-door for £30 a pair steals cash from home of elderly woman, 79

Carl Sowerby stole money from the purse of a 79-year-old woman with mild dementia after being invited into her house

A three strike burglar has been locked up after shards of glass from a window he smashed were found on his clothing.

Teesside Crown Court heard how Carl Sowerby stole money from the purse of a 79-year-old woman with mild dementia after being invited into her house in Teesville to sell goods.

Dr Chris Wood, prosecuting, told the court how the 32-year-old knocked the door to her property on Lime Road and tried to sell her two kitchen towels for £30.

The victim refused to pay the money and asked him to leave her house on July 18 last year.

 

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She later noticed that two £20 notes and some change had been taken from inside her purse on a side table.

In a victim impact statement, read to the court by Dr Wood, the elderly woman’s daughter said: “Since the incident my mother is a little more anxious about opening the door and asks for me to be there if anything is going to happen.”

She said that her mother now stays in the house and relies on other people more.

Dr Wood told the court how Sowerby, who appeared in court via videolink to Durham prison, then went on to break into a property on Kinlock Road.

Sowerby, who appeared via videolink to Durham prison, smashed the window with a brick, climbed inside and stole an unknown amount of cash.

Dr Wood told the court how Sowerby was arrested for the theft on July 20 and shard fragments of glass were found on his distinctive clothing.

In a victim impact start, read to the court by Dr Wood, the second victim said: “It worries me that he is going to get in my house again.”

Sowerby, of HMP, pleaded guilty to one count of theft and one count of burglary.

Andrew Turton, defending, told the court that Sowerby had a legitimate reason for attending the 79-year-old woman’s house.

He said that prisoners are often allowed to sell items door to door when they are realised from prison but that “temptation” took over.


He said: “He regrets taking the money from that house but always maintained he had been invited into the property.”

Mr Turton said that Sowerby had “struggled” for some time with a drug addiction.

The court heard how he has 15 convictions for 34 offences.

The Judge, Recorder David Gordon, told Sowerby: “As far as the theft it concerns that was a mean offence.

“CCTV enquiries and forensic enquiries led to you being identified and arrested.

“This offending caused not surprisingly considerable upset.”

Recorder Gordon sentenced Sowerby to 32 months behind bars.

He added: “You’re still a young man but this is no good coming back again and again before the courts.”

 

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