Conman who preyed on Nelson widow (85) is jailed

A HEARTLESS conman who has made a career out of preying on and stealing from the elderly and vulnerable in East Lancashire is back behind bars, this time for five years three months.

Monday, 19th December 2011, 7:00 pm

Burnley Crown Court heard how Keith Glover had posed as a water board worker or police officer to trick his many victims and wore clothes which made him look official. He had more than 100 previous convictions, many for thieving off pensioners and hadn’t an ounce of compassion for those he picked on, who he saw as “easy targets.”

Glover’s latest victim was an 85-year-old widow living alone in Nelson. She was left devastated after he helped himself to jewellery bought by her late husband which held high sentimental value for her. The haul had not been recovered.

The hearing was told Glover had only been out of jail 18 days for doing the same thing when he struck at the home of the 85-year-old, claiming he wanted to check her water pressure.

The defendant, said to be from the travelling community and now of no fixed address, admitted burglary on June 28th. He is to face a proceeds of crime hearing.

Miss Sarah Statham (prosecuting) said Glover talked his way into the victim’s home, telling her he was from the Water Board. She let him go upstairs, did not feel comfortable, but did not feel able to stop him.

Glover was upstairs for 20 minutes and found money and jewellery she had hidden away. A concerned neighbour was suspicious after spotting him, went to the victim’s after he had left and she then found her treasured possessions missing.

Miss Statham said the defendant’s fingerprints were found on a plastic wallet he had taken the money from. Glover did not own up after he was arrested, forcing the victim to go on a video identity parade few days later, but she picked him out.

The prosecutor continued: “There are a lot of memories attached to the jewellery and the victim is absolutely devastated somebody could have done this to her.” Glover did not make any admissions in interview.

Miss Statham added Glover had 107 previous convictions, “many of which are of a like nature.” He had already served a prison term of five years and in 2009 got four years, also for identical offences. He had been released on licence on June 10th, 18 days before his latest offence.

Mr Martin Hackett, for Glover, said the defendant accepted he had to go to custody. He saw his victims as easy targets and that was very worrying, as was his record. The barrister added: “Equally, there seems to be some hope in that he recognises his offending.”

The defendant was now learning to read and write. Mr Hackett added: “I have told him that at 44, he has to put this disgraceful offending behind him.”

Sentencing, Judge Beverley Lunt told Glover nothing had deterred him. She said he had repeatedly chosen to target the elderly and the vulnerable to commit despicable offences. The judge added: “Frankly, anybody who sees the elderly as easy targets is beneath contempt.”