Burglar targets old people in their own homes
A BURGLAR targeted two elderly women’s homes to get cash to fund his drug overdose suicide attempt, a court heard.
The pensioners were confronted by Robert O’Neill in their homes and he managed to steal a handbag containing up to £40.
O’Neill, aged 32, of Elm Road, Little Lever, was sentenced to three years in jail after pleading guilty to two counts of burglary at Bolton Crown Court yesterday (MON) The burglar’s first victim was a 73-year-old woman who lived in a sheltered housing complex bungalow in Little Lever with her husband.
Rosalind Emsley-Smith, prosecuting, told the court that on April 13 the pensioner came out of her living room and saw O’Neill leaving her bedroom.
“I’ve just come to tell you your dog’s been roaming,” he told her, before fleeing empty-handed.
The following day he knocked on the flat door of an 85-year-old woman in Farnworth and pushed past her, telling her he was checking for a water leak.
She ordered him to leave as he searched her home, taking her handbag.
Neighbours saw him coming out of the flat, confronted and detained him.
Robert Elias, defending, said traveller O’Neill was grieving after the road death of his brother and the cot deaths of two of his children along with a family rift over his heroin addiction.
“He decided he wanted to take his own life and needed drugs to do that,” said Mr Elias.
But Recorder Fiona Ashworth, when jailing him, told him: “I do not consider this, in any way, is an excuse for these offences.
“You knew both of these victims were vulnerable.”