Burglar broke into neighbour's home hours after she died
PUBLISHED: 17:36 01 October 2019 | UPDATED: 07:46 02 October 2019
A burglar who raided jewellery from his neighbour's home just hours after she died has been jailed for 11 months.
Gafiel Abdullah claimed to police he was being a 'Good Samaritan' and taking the items for safekeeping when they arrested him at the scene at Gentry Place.
Norwich Crown Court heard his neighbour had died and her body removed at around 3.30am on May 29.
Just hours later, at noon, another neighbour saw Abdullah breaking down her door with a hammer and chisel, prosecutor Danielle O'Donovan told the court.
Police attended and caught Abdullah at the scene, and they retrieved items including jewellery and electronics.
The 58-year-old, who has 111 previous convictions, admitted burglary and appeared unrepresented on Tuesday.
He told the court his home of 15 years at Gentry Place would be "at risk" if he was not released "immediately".
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He added a rescue dog he had adopted - Smasher - had to be put down since he had been remanded in custody.
"Prison is not the place to come to terms with grief," he told the court. "I have always tried to be diplomatic in mitigation and I was acting in my dead neighbour's interests if nothing else.
"She has not slipped away unnoticed now."
He added he has been in and out of prison since 1976, and has used drugs since he was 14.
"I have never hurt anyone or stolen because of a need for drugs," he said. "I do commit silly crime."
In 15 years his home at Gentry Place has been raided "150 times" by police, he said.
Judge Katharine Moore told Abdullah his had been a "mean and low" crime.
"You still have a tendency to play down your drug misuse, but you are now less heavily addicted to substances than you once were," she said.
"When you carried out this burglary you did so in the knowledge nobody would be present."