A Southampton woman has been jailed for burglary and theft from elderly victims
Carla Dorward, 42, currently residing in HMP Bronzefield in Surrey, appeared at Southampton Crown Court yesterday (5 July), having pleaded guilty to two counts of burglary, one theft from dwelling and six of fraud by false representation.
She was sentenced to three years and eight months in prison.
The first incident occurred in on 14 August 2021 between 6.40am and 6.55am at a flat in North East Close, Southampton.
Dorward knocked on the door of the occupant, a man in his 70s, and asked to use his toilet to which the man agreed.
When Dorward was out of the occupant’s sight for a couple of minutes, she entered his bedroom and stole his mobile phone and gold jewellery worth up to £725 before leaving the address.
The second incident took place on 26 March this year between 6.30pm and 7pm at a flat in Paynes Road, Southampton.
Dorward again knocked on the door of the occupant, a man in his 70s, and asked to use his toilet.
Once inside she started drinking wine from her bag and asked if she could sit there for half an hour until her ‘uncle’ returned home.
After she left, the man noticed £15 cash had been taken and a bank card was missing from his wallet.
The bank card was then used in various shops to buy products worth £114.52.
The third incident happened at a flat in Padwell Road, Southampton, on 27 March this year between 5pm and 5.38pm.
The occupant, a woman in her 80s, was in her bedroom when she heard a noise in her front room. When she went to see what it was, she found Dorward in her home.
Dorward told the woman she had left her keys in the lock and warned her that she ‘must be careful not to leave your keys in the door’. It is believed Dorward had gained access via a spare key inside a wall-mounted key safe outside the flat.
The women asked Dorward to leave, which she did. After Dorward left, the victim noticed her handbag had been moved and her purse had been stolen, which contained £70 in cash, bank cards and club cards.
All three incidents were reported to police and officers conducted enquiries which led to Dorward being charged for these offences.
PC Noora Abbasi from Operation Hawk, Hampshire Constabulary’s specialist team for burglary, led the investigation.
She said: “Burglary is traumatic enough regardless of your age, but for Dorward to target members of our community who are especially vulnerable is all the more reprehensible.
“For the gentleman who was burgled in 2021, his phone was a vital lifeline and the jewellery had great sentimental value which you cannot put a price on.
“We are pleased that justice has been served and Dorward will be taken off our streets where she cannot prey on others in the coming years.
“I hope this sentence sends out a strong message to burglars that we will find you and ensure your victims also get justice, and that the community can see the hard work we are putting in to reducing this particularly invasive type of crime.”
For more information about how to report burglary to police and advice on how to keep your property secure, visit the police website: https://www.hampshire.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/protect-home-crime/