'˜Mean' burglar conned his way into Portsmouth dementia sufferer's home

PROLIFIC burglar Karl Chambers conned his way into a dementia patient's home after meeting him in a shop.

Thursday, 11th May 2017, 9:12 pm
Updated Monday, 15th May 2017, 9:26 am

The 40-year-old watched the victim, who suffers from Huntington’s disease, taking cash out from a machine at a shop near Eastern Road.

Portsmouth Crown Court heard Chambers then walked with the victim to his house, before asking if he could come in.

While there he asked for a drink of water, to use the toilet and for deodorant – before rifling through a biscuit barrel in the kitchen to steal £60, and £100 from elsewhere.

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Prosecutor Anthony Bailey told the court how Chambers had struck just three months after being released from jail.

He said Chambers had a ‘substantial list of previous convictions’, with this his fourth for burgling homes.

‘If I can summarise it, the defendant’s MO in this case and in others is precisely the same,’ Mr Bailey said.

He added: ‘What he does is manipulate vulnerable persons and then enter their homes under a pretence in order to steal cash or any valuables that he sees.’

Fingerprints left at the victim’s home led police to Chambers, the court heard.

Recorder Michael Parroy QC jailed Chambers, who admitted burglary, for 40 months for the February 16 burglary in Eastern Road, Portsmouth.

Sentencing, the judge said: ‘It was a mean offence.

‘What you did was spy on this man in the local shop, a man clearly vulnerable because he was suffering from an incurable disease, he was somebody you saw getting money out an ATM machine and you decided you were going to have that money.

He added: ‘This was a deliberately targeted victim, a man who was effectively helpless and you took his money at a time when you had a huge record for previous convictions, when you were on licence at the time, when you tricked your way into his home in order to steal.’

The court heard Chambers, of Salterns Avenue, Milton, had already been recalled to prison with a release date set for not until April 2018.

In mitigation, the judge was told Chambers had been a drug addict for most of his adult life but that he was also genuinely remorseful.

His barrister asked for a little leniency and for the judge not to ‘throw away the key’.

Chambers had initially denied being involved in the burglary when arrested and interviewed by police.