A CONVICTED robber who broke into the home of an elderly couple next to the Leamington hostel where he was living after being released from prison on licence is back behind bars.
Troy Ford had only been freed from HMP Bristol, where he was serving a sentence of four-and-a-half years, nine days before carrying out the mean raid.
And at Warwick Crown Court, the 29-year-old who at the time was living at the bail hostel in Kenilworth Road, was jailed for 20 months after pleading guilty to the burglary.
Prosecutor Catherine Ravenscroft said Ford had been released from prison on licence on April 24, but has since been recalled to serve the rest of his four-and-a-half year sentence.
At 9.30 in the evening on May 3 Ford, previously of Queen Margarets Road, Coventry, was captured on CCTV leaving the hostel by the back door into the garden.
He then climbed over a fence into the back garden of a neighbouring house and peered through a window before entering an annexe flat where he started to remove bottles of wine.
But he was disturbed by the residents, a 91-year-old man and his 82-year-old wife who suffers from dementia.
When challenged, Ford claimed he thought it was a different house, and apologised and left without taking anything.
He returned to the hostel, having dropped his phone in the garden of the house, and after staff at the hostel were told what had happened, he was found hiding in another resident’s room.
After his arrest, Ford admitted entering the property, claiming he was intoxicated and had left intending to go to a shop, but did not know where it was.
The court heard Ford had a number of previous convictions, and had been jailed in 2018 for robbery.
That had taken place at the Highway Sports and Recreation Club in Fletchamstead Highway in Coventry, where Ford had broken into the cellar.
Ian Speed, defending, said: “He was born into a life of drink and drugs and criminality, and at the age of 12 he makes his first court appearance.”
He added while in prison Ford had been on courses to address his drug and alcohol problem, but at the hostel he went back to drink after falling out with his girlfriend.
Jailing Ford, Judge Barry Berlin told him: “You left the bail hostel and entered the rear garden and climbed over the wall.
“You looked through the window and you went into the annexe and entered the kitchen. The occupants were there, as I believe you knew.
“It is plainly greater harm. There was an element of targeting due to the knowledge of there being elderly residents.”
But although Ford has been recalled to serve the rest of the robbery sentence, the burglary sentence will be concurrent to that because, the judge pointed out, ‘I do not have the power to make it consecutive.’