Hartlepool robber snared by DNA after putting hand around East Durham victim's mouth

A robber who was caught after DNA from his hand was found around his elderly victim’s mouth has been jailed for more than a decade.

Monday, 6th December 2021, 5:03 pm
Updated Monday, 6th December 2021, 5:03 pm

Police have welcomed the prison sentence handed out at crown court to self-confessed conman Paul Dennis Bradshaw while also praising the female victim’s “enormous courage” in giving evidence after the career criminal pleaded not guilty to the house raid.

In addition, Bradshaw was locked up for a separate offence of conning an elderly man out of hundreds of pounds under the pretext of carrying out roofing repairs.

Durham Crown Court heard he barged his way into the vulnerable lady’s home in Horden last September and put his hand over her mouth when she tried to scream for help.

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Paul Dennis Bradshaw.

After an untidy search, he made off with £200 in cash, seemingly leaving no evidence.

However, after the victim disclosed her intruder had put his hand over her mouth, CSI teams took swabs which were analysed and came back as a perfect match for Bradshaw.

The 48-year-old criminal was interviewed by police and, despite denying the offence, was found guilty after a trial when the strong forensic evidence was put to a jury who returned a unanimous verdict.

He also pleaded guilty to an offence of fraud from January this year after escorting the elderly man to a cashpoint to withdraw hundreds of pounds for work on his roof which was never done.

The case was heard at Durham Crown Court.

During his sentencing hearing at the crown court, Bradshaw, of Elgin Road, Hartlepool, admitted he is a conman and a career criminal.

He was sentenced to 10 years for the robbery and a further 12 months for the fraud offence.

Investigating officer, PC Dean Phillips, of Peterlee CID, said after the sentencing hearing: “Bradshaw is a persistent and dangerous offender who targets the most vulnerable in our communities so the team were determined to bring him to justice.

“This case was very distressing for the victim who, along with her family, showed enormous courage throughout the trial and thanks to her evidence, has seen Bradshaw taken off the streets for a long time.”

For advice on how to prevent you becoming a victim of fraud visit www.actionfraud.police.uk/

The force added in a statement: “In an emergency always call 999.”