Emsworth man who burgled sheltered housing complexes is jailed

JAILED Luke Banner
JAILED Luke Banner
Rownhams Services on the M27. Picture: Google Maps

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A BURGLAR who left elderly residents ‘disturbed and alarmed’ after breaking into a string of sheltered housing complexes has been locked up.

Luke Banner – who is profoundly deaf – targeted five residential homes and two properties where older people live in Lee-on-the-Solent, Havant, Emsworth and Southsea.

The 20-year-old, who has a string of previous convictions, was caught after swiping money boxes, cash and three rings during his two-month crime spree.

Banner was subject to a two-year ban from entering any sheltered housing complex when he committed the latest string of burglaries.

The ban had been imposed by the courts as part of a community order in April last year after he admitted breaking into six other residential homes and he asked for 23 other burglaries to be taken into consideration.

Portsmouth Crown Court heard Banner stole cash from Lindsey House in Richmond Road, Southsea, on January 21.

Only a day earlier he entered a sitting room and communal kitchen at Woodpath House, Woodpath, Southsea, and stole a money box containing a small amount of cash.

He also knocked on the door of a sheltered housing complex in Cosham where an unsuspecting 89-year-old woman let him in.

Banner was later found in the toilet.

On December 13 he stole three rings from the home of a blind 89-year-old woman in Wickor Way, Emsworth.

The following day Amanda Miller, from Spencer Road, Emsworth, sold the rings on for £130. She was later arrested and charged.

Between December 6 and 9 Banner stole a money box and £45 from a communal area at Brook House in Elm Road, Havant.

Then on November 27 Banner, of Quinton Fields, Emsworth, targeted Homeryde House in High Street, Lee-on-the-Solent – sheltered housing he already had a conviction for burgling – and stole £25.

Two days earlier he had stolen cash from another sheltered housing complex.

Banner pleaded guilty to two house burglaries and five non-dwelling burglaries.

He asked for four more burglaries to be taken into consideration.

Banner wept in the dock as he was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison.

Recorder Stewart Patterson, sentencing, told Banner: ‘You continue to display a complete disregard for the rights and welfare of your victims, despite work to try and increase your awareness of it.’

He added: ‘I cannot overlook the fact that elderly people being targeted by you, whether within their flats or the communal areas of sheltered accommodation which they occupy are disturbed and alarmed by your activities.’

Recovering heroin addict Miller pleaded guilty to two counts of handling stolen goods and one count of fraud by making a false representation.

The 47-year-old was given a nine-month community order and put under supervision.

Miller was told to take part in a Women’s Programme for 12 sessions.