A CONWOMAN who targeted a retired sailor on the anniversary of his wife’s death was caught because she left a cigarette butt in his house.
Kelly Dimmick posed as a police officer and told Brian Murphy she needed to speak to him because he had been targeted by nuisance phone calls.
The 75-year-old, who had coincidentally been getting suspicious calls, let her into his home in Hayling Avenue, Portsmouth. When she saw cards wishing him well a year on from his wife’s death they talked about his loss.
But while the 37-year-old seemed kind and caring Dimmick was – along with a man who is still at large – part of a con.
In fact police say the man still wanted for the theft – Aaron Good – knew a relative of Mr Murphy and had known it was a year since his wife had passed away.
While the pensioner fetched Dimmick a glass of water they stole Mr Murphy’s wallet, containing precious photos of his wife, £250 and a gold signet ring.
Mr Murphy, who rose to the rank of Chief Petty Officer during his 27 years in the navy and served on HMS Ark Royal, HMS Blake and HMS Agincourt, said: ‘I am not worried about the material things but I am very upset about the loss of precious photographs of my late wife which are irreplaceable and this has caused me great sorrow.
‘I feel very distressed about the whole affair. I’m not sleeping well and I keep replaying the events over in my mind.’
He said he had always thought of himself as a good judge of character and felt betrayed.
When Dimmick left his house, she wrote a note with the number for Hampshire Constabulary and the name of an existing police officer.
Crucially she also left behind a cigarette butt and with 37 previous convictions, mainly for theft, police were able to trace Dimmick’s DNA.
At the time of the offence she had a conditional discharge hanging over her after stealing jewellery from a British Heart Foundation charity shop.
Dimmick, of St Ronan’s Road, Southsea, pleaded guilty to burglary.
Howard Barrington-Clark, defending, said she had been pressured into doing it by her friend Good, adding: ‘She panicked, she made a horribly wrong decision.’
Jailing her for 25 months at Portsmouth Crown Court Judge Ian Pearson said: ‘The items stolen included precious mementos of his late wife which are irreplaceable.
‘This burglary has had a significant affect upon his confidence and his happiness generally.’
Detective Sergeant Gary Cable added: ‘This was a callous and pre-planned offence which targeted a vulnerable elderly man who was grieving for his widow. It’s left him traumatised.’
POLICE are still trying to trace a man who they believe played a part in the burglary.
Aaron Good is alleged to have been part of the scam, along with Kelly Dimmick. Prosecutor Barnaby Shaw said Dimmick told police Good had pressured her into distracting Mr Murphy while he stole his wallet and jewellery.
Last week The News ran a picture of Good in a bid to track him down.
Detective Sergeant Gary Cable said: ‘People now know the circumstances surrounding this burglary.
‘It’s the clear targeting of a vulnerable person.
‘If any member of the public knows the whereabouts of Aaron Good we want to hear from them.’
The 39-year-old is described as 5ft 9in, of proportionate build, with short dark hair which is greying. He was last known to be living in the Portsmouth area.
Anyone with any information should contact Hampshire Constabulary on 101 or call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.