Burglar broke in while victim in shower

BUNGALOW burglar Damien Matthews is behind bars today after shamelessly targeting the homes of vulnerable and disabled pensioners in Ipswich.

BUNGALOW burglar Damien Matthews is behind bars today after shamelessly targeting the homes of vulnerable and disabled pensioners in Ipswich.

Matthews, of Magdalene Close, Ipswich, terrified a 79-year-old woman when he smashed into her bungalow while she was taking a shower.

He befriended a retired man then pounced when the partially sighted victim was admitted to hospital, pinching his TV and �200 from his flat in Stone Lodge Lane West.

Even the dead were not immune when he stole a TV from the unoccupied bungalow of a woman in Oaksmere Gardens who had passed away.


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He also hit two houses on the same day in Jasmine Close - stealing a mobile phone and a camera from a disabled woman and jewellery from an 83-year-old who now fears for her safety.

The bungling thief was caught after leaving a trail of clues in his wake, including DNA on a beer bottle he left at one scene and a footprint which was matched to him at another.

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The crime spree was driven by Matthews' �70-a-day drug addiction, Ipswich Crown Court heard on Tuesday.

The 25-year-old admitted five charges of burglary, between January 30 and February 23 this year, and asked for two other offences to be taken into consideration.

Prosecutor Peter Gair said: “A pattern emerges in relation to the dwellings in that they tend to be of vulnerable and elderly people.”

In the most serious case, Matthews broke into a pensioner's garage in Holyrood Close, grabbed a hammer and battered down a door to her adjoining bungalow.

The petrified victim jumped out of the shower after hearing a noise, but Matthews fled when she went to investigate.

Sentencing Matthews to 20 months in prison, Judge John Devaux said: “These burglaries represent an escalation of seriousness and included the presence of an occupier in her home. You are not a particularly careful or skilful burglar.”

Have you been the victim of a burglary? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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