‘Mean’ burglar stole disabled man’s mobility scooter

The case was heard at Teesside Crown Court.
The case was heard at Teesside Crown Court.

A drug user tried to befriend a disabled man before burgling his house and taking his mobility scooter.

Jessica Magee bragged to a friend how she had found an ‘easy target’ and there was more things she could steal from him, including a television.

Drug-user Magee was jailed for 21 months by a judge at Teesside Crown Court who described her offending as ‘particularly mean’.

The court head Magee had previous offences of dishonesty on her record, including burglary of a hostel for the homeless.

In the latest case, prosecutor Harry Hadfield said Magee’s victim was 34-years-old and confined to a wheelchair.

“He had suffered a stroke which meant he had no use of his legs,” added Mr Hadfield.

“He had several carers, and would often spend the weekend with his parents.

“Entry to his flat was by means of a pass code protected key safe, the safe being on an outside wall.

“It is the Crown’s case Magee had been with the victim when he used the key safe, which meant she knew how to get into the premises when he was not present.

“The burglary was discovered after the victim returned to his flat having spent a weekend with his parents.”

Items taken included the mobility scooter, a television, £100 cash, and aftershave, the court heard.

“The defendant told a friend what she had done,” said Mr Hadfield.

“Magee was bragging about getting money off ‘this bloke’, and how there was another television she could easily take.

“[The friend] called the police.

“It is understood the scooter was recovered.”

The court was told Magee claimed to have little memory of the burglary, later falsely claiming she had taken the scooter from outside the flat when the victim had left it inside on charge.

Magee, 21, of Straker Street, Hartlepool. admitted burglary on February 5.

She has previous convictions for offences of violence and dishonesty, including burglary of a hostel for the homeless in which she stole the hostel’s communal fridge.

Stephen Constantine, defending, said in mitigation: “Ms Magee’s best mitigation is her plea of guilty.

“She cannot remember much of this offence, but says she would have committed it to get money for drugs.

“She describes getting her benefits, and within a few hours spending the lot on drugs.

“While on remand she is beginning to show some degree of acceptance that she has a problem which she will have to have help to deal with.”

Judge Simon Hickey jailed Magee for 21 months.

The judge told him: “This was a particularly mean offence, committed as it was against a disabled and vulnerable man.

“There was obviously a degree of planning, and as well as taking the scooter on which the victim depended, you invaded his most personal space by going into his bedroom to steal money and his aftershave.

“You have showed little willingness to cooperate with those who want to help you.

“If you can tackle your drugs problem, you may stop offending.

“All a judge can do at this stage is offer the public some protection by keeping you away from them.”

Magee was made the subject of a restraining order banning her indefinitely from contacting her victim.