Conman stole from woman, 91

Jonathan Dunn
Jonathan Dunn

A DOORSTEP conman who fleeced a vulnerable 91-year-old out of £20 to feed his heroin addiction has been locked up for four years.

Serial burglar Jonathan Dunn, who has 17 convictions for house burglaries on his record, conned his victim into believing he was from the water board before swiping her purse containing £20 after he was invited into her home.

The plucky Hartlepool pensioner, who initially questioned where he was from after spotting a dog in the back of his car, later picked Dunn out of an identity parade.

Dunn, who was on prison licence after being released only a fortnight earlier, was snared after the woman reported him to police who spotted him on neighbourhood CCTV footage.

Dunn told a probation officer writing his pre-sentence report that he “did not like old people”.

He said he believed they were vulnerable, and that they would not be able to identify him later.

Dunn turned up on his victim’s doorstep on April 7 claiming he wanted to test the water pressure, and was from the water board.

She spotted that he had a dog in his car and she quizzed him about being allowed to take it to work with him.

But the woman, who uses a walking trolley to help her get around, let him into the house where he went into the kitchen and he asked her if she had a bucket, Teesside Crown Court was told.

When she said she didn’t, he quickly left and soon afterwards she noticed that her purse holding £20 had gone from the trolley.

After being picked out on CCTV, Dunn initially denied he was involved, but the old lady picked him out of an identification parade and he later admitted the offence.

in a Victim Impact statement read out in court, the pensioner said: “I’m grateful that he did not hit me.

“Many years ago I was burgled, and I’ve been thinking why someone would do this.

“I live by myself and I wondered if they had been watching my house. It’s a scary thought.”

David Crooke, prosecuting, said that in 2009 Dunn burgled a 70-year-old woman after claiming he had been sent by her son to repair her fence.

Last June, he went to a warden-controlled bungalow saying he had been in a car crash and asking to borrow a pen.

On that occasion, the wary OAP refused to open the door and when she pushed a pen through the letterbox he went away.

He was later convicted of attempted burglary.

Jim Withyman, defending, said that Dunn was ashamed and filled with remorse. He had been a drug addict since he was a child, when he stole his mother’s prescribed pills and progressed to using heroin.

Judge George Moorhouse told him: “That was a horrid and very serious burglary.

“You have an appalling record for previous burglaries, no less than 17, and the last two you were involved in were elderly victims.”

Dunn, of King Oswy Drive, Hartlepool, was jailed for four years after he pleaded guilty to burglary and theft.

Acting Detective Inspector Alan Todd, of Hartlepool CID, said: “We welcome the sentence that has been handed to Dunn today. He deliberately preyed on an elderly lady and his actions were despicable. His sentence means that vulnerable members of the community are now safer.”