Man who targeted elderly women jailed - The Leamington Observer

Man who targeted elderly women jailed

Leamington Editorial 22nd Dec, 2021   0

A MAN who tried to rob a vulnerable woman of her bike and then attempted to force his way into another terrified woman’s Leamington home has been jailed.

David Burke had pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to charges of attempted robbery and using violence to gain entry to a property in Villiers Street, Leamington.

THe 44-year-old, of no fixed address, who also admitted failing to register with the police as a sex offender on a weekly basis, was jailed for a total of 19 months.

Prosecutor Christopher O’Gorman said Burke had 14 convictions for 29 offences on his record, including dwelling house burglary and assault with intent to rob.

And in 1997 he was jailed for nine years for robbery and indecent assault, as a result of which he was also required to register with the police as a sex offender for life.

But Mr O’Gorman pointed out: “Since then, an affray in 2009 and then no further convictions until April this year for theft from a motor vehicle.”

As a result of that, Burke was given a community order which was still in force on June 12.

That evening a woman had been out shopping in Leamington town centre and was pushing her bike along Villiers Street on her way home when she noticed Burke, who seemed intoxicated.

As the woman, described as being elderly, continued on her way, Burke approached her from behind and said he wanted her bike, offering her £150 for it.

When she refused, he began to pull it from her, but the woman held on, and there was something of a tug-of-war between them, during which she suffered a cut to her wrist.

A couple who heard her shout for help, came out of their home and were told by Burke that he wanted her bike and upped his offer to £170 before walking away as they called the police.

But he then approached a woman who was tending the front garden of her home further along Villiers Street and asked her something – but he was too drunk for her to understand.

She went inside and shut the door, but he came into the porch and began banging on the door, so she called the police and, as she was advised, went upstairs and locked herself in a bedroom.

As she waited for officers to arrive, she said it sounded as though Burke was using his full force to try to force the door open, but the police turned up before he had succeeded.

And afterwards she described the incident as terrifying.

When Burke was interviewed, he said he had had 13 pints of strong lager, and was drunk by the time he left the last pub and could not remember anything else, but accepted what he was told he had done.

Mr O’Gorman said because Burke was homeless at the time, under the terms of his sex offender registration, he was required to register with the police every seven days.

He failed to do so and in June was jailed for 12 weeks – but following his release, and still homeless, he again failed to comply with the requirement until he was arrested in October for a public order matter, for which he was jailed for eight weeks.

Of the main offences, Stephen Cadwalladr, defending, said: “Now sober, he is very, very sorry for the distress he caused to both of these ladies.”

Jailing Burke, Judge Andrew Lockhart QC told him the only sentence he could pass was immediate custody.


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