Padiham teen raider behind bars

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A TEENAGER who raided an 82-year-old man’s home as he slept has been locked up for 27 months.

Burnley Crown Court heard how Sammy Clark (19) who told police he had not been alone, left his victim shaken up and feeling very vulnerable.

The pensioner, who has a heart pacemaker, was looked after by a carer, after suffering several strokes before the attack on his home.

He realised his home had been invaded when he woke up and found his trousers were in the living room instead of by his bed.

The victim discovered a mobile phone, £13 cash and cigarettes had been taken. His security light had been covered up with a bucket.

Clark, of Graham Street, Padiham, was in breach of a suspended jail term imposed for robbery and also a conditional discharge at the time. He had admitted burglary in February and had been committed for sentence by Burnley magistrates.

He asked for an offence of theft of alcohol the same night, to be considered. The defendant was sent to a Young Offenders’ Institution.

Sentencing him, Judge Jonathan Gibson said the offence was serious and aggravated by the fact was victim was 82 and had been in bed.

He continued: “Such offences cause very considerable alarm and distress to people. They don’t feel secure in their own homes as a result and it’s often the case it interferes very significantly with their quality of life, particularly the elderly.”

David Farley (prosecuting) said the victim lived in Padiham Road. After he woke up, his front door was banging in the wind and he realised he had been burgled. He was very upset.

The defendant’s fingerprints were inside the property. He was arrested and made admissions. He accepted he did take some of the stolen property, but not all of it.

The hearing was told Clark was subject to a 10-month custodial sentence, suspended for 18 months.

Anthony Stephenson (defending) said: “He is a foolish and immature young man, who acts before he thinks, especially when in drink and in a peer group situation.”

The defendant knew he needed to move away, change and stop offending.

He would say it was suggested to him that he commit the offence. He knew and accepted he should be punished for it. The defendant claimed he did not know anybody was in the property at the time. He did not go into the bedroom and all he took was the cigarettes.

Mr Stephenson continued: “He realises how dangerous it could be if that man had woken up, with his age, his infirmity, to find two relatively young men in his house at night. Thankfully, that did not happen.”

The barrister added: “This may well be the wake-up call that this young man has needed for some time.”