Lowestoft burglar jailed after demanding money from elderly cancer sufferer
09:19 06 July 2012
An 84-year-old cancer sufferer in Lowestoft was left “absolutely terrified” after waking up to find a burglar in her home, a court has heard.
The woman, who had undergone surgery which affected her voice, was confronted by 42-year-old Lee Streeter who demanded money from her and then stole jewellery, a commemorative plate and a watch from her, some of which were of sentimental value.
“She was completely terrified,” said Michael Crimp, prosecuting at Ipswich Crown Court on Thursday.
He said that prior to the burglary on April 3 two men had come to her door but she had difficulties talking to them because of the surgery.
She had fallen asleep and woke to find Streeter in her home.
Streeter, 42, of no fixed address, admitted burglary at the woman’s home in Southwell Street, Lowestoft, and an earlier burglary at a house in Seago Street, Lowestoft, on March 27. He asked for four other offences to be considered.
Jailing him for four years on Thursday, Judge John Devaux said the burglary had had a devastating effect on the woman.
There appeared to be some planning involved in the burglary though Streeter claimed he had gone into the wrong house because of his drunken state.
“Once you and your confederates found her in the house, far from escaping from the property a demand was made for money, falling short of robbery,” said the judge.
Mr Crimp said property worth £625 was stolen during the burglary in Seago Street while the owners were away.
He said Streeter was identified as being involved in both burglaries from fingerprint evidence.
Andrew Thompson, for Streeter, described his client as a professional burglar and said he had a long-standing heroin addiction.
He said that while Streeter was in prison he attended courses and was motivated to give up drugs but this resolve weakened after his release.