4th Dec, 2020

Heartless man burgled grandmother's home knowing she was in hospital

A HEARTLESS man who burgled his own grandmother’s home at a time he knew she was in hospital, and in breach of a court order banning him from going there, has been jailed.

Paul Murphy, who had a string of convictions in which his long-suffering grandmother was the victim, had pleaded guilty to burglary and breaching a restraining order.

The 34-year-old, from Leamington but of no fixed address, was jailed for two years in his absence after refusing for the third time to leave his cell at HMP Hewell, where he had been on remand.

Prosecutor Harpreet Sandhu said Murphy’s victim, as with many of his previous convictions, was his 89-year-old grandmother.

Of Murphy’s previous convictions, Mr Sandhu said they included four previous burglaries at his grandmother’s Leamington home, which had led to him being made subject to a restraining order in October 2017.

Under the order he was banned from going to the south Leamington street where she lived or harassing her.

But in December 2018, on her 88th birthday, Murphy turned up at her home – but rather than bringing her a present or even a card, he began asking her for money.

When Mrs Murphy, who had already been giving him money for food, refused, he became angry, throwing a jug through a glass panel in the front door, and began searching for cash.

In a bedroom drawer he found £20 which he stole, but when he then began pushing his grandmother around, a neighbour saw what was happening through the window and called the police.

That and an offence of being concerned in the supply of drugs from his former home in Forfield Place, had led to him being given a 22-month suspended sentence.

Then in February last year, knowing of the problems Mrs Murphy had been having with him, her neighbours called the police after hearing shouting and screaming from her address.

The neighbours went round and managed to get Murphy out of the house, and when the police arrived he was still hanging around outside, and was arrested.

As a result, in April last year he was jailed for ten months consecutive to 20 months of the suspended sentence.

Then in May this year, after being released on licence, Murphy burgled his grandmother’s home at a time when he knew she was in hospital and that the house would be empty.

Murphy, who was still subject to the restraining order banning him from going near the property, got in by smashing a rear window.

But Mrs Murphy’s neighbours saw him through the windows going from room to room before leaving with his grandmother’s television and a purse.

One of the neighbours challenged him, having already called the police, and Murphy was arrested as he sat on a wall.

Murphy had no legal representation, so Judge Andrew Lockhart QC ordered that a transcript of the hearing should be provided to him.

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