Woman in 80s forced to move out of home after burglary

Richard Dawson

Richard Dawson. - Credit: Norfolk Police

A woman in her 80s has been forced to leave a home she had lived in for many years for her own safety after she was the victim of a burglary.

The victim, 86, had been at home when Richard Dawson, 34, and Carl Emmerson, 35, targeted her property at Holland Court, Dereham between October 4 and 6 last year.

Richard Dawson

Richard Dawson. - Credit: Norfolk Police

Norwich Crown Court heard the victim no longer felt safe there and had since gone to live with her daughter for “safety’s sake”.

Stephen Spence, prosecuting, said there was “clearly some planning” to the burglary as there was a pair of them involved.

Carl Emmerson

Carl Emmerson - Credit: Norfolk Police

Police received a call shortly after 8.35am on Monday, October 5 reporting the burglary in which the offenders smashed a conservatory door at the back of the property and a kitchen door to access property and stole a purse containing bank cards.

Dawson, of Middlemarch Road, Dereham, and Emmerson, of Dale Road, Scarning, appeared at court for sentence on Tuesday (January 12) having both admitted burglary and  two counts of fraud by false representation where they used stolen cash cards to obtain almost £500 on October 5.

Dawson also admitted a second charge of burglary at Green Lane in Beetley between October 3 and 5 last year when a safe was among items stolen.

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In that burglary police were called at 11.41am on Sunday,  October 4 by the victim reporting that his lounge window had been smashed and multiple items stolen, including credit cards, wallet, money and a safe.

Judge Maureen Bacon sentenced Dawson to a total of 45 months in prison when he appeared at court on Tuesday (January 12) and Emmerson was jailed for 22 months.

Danielle O’Donovan, mitigating for Dawson, conceded he was a three-strike burglar and subject to the mandatory minimum three-year term.

She said he had been a heroin addict who had managed to get himself clean and got work as a self-employed builder but after coronavirus struck work stopped.

David Stewart, mitigating for Emmerson, said he admitted the offences, which happened after the “drugs took hold”.

He said he “clearly lost his way” having relapsed into drug use but “clearly expressed remorse”.

Mr Stewart added he sensibly pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.

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