Elderly woman attacked burglar

A SPIRITED 97-year-old attacked a burglar with her walking frame after he and his son conned their way into her Suffolk home, a court heard.Jessie South shouted at villain John Riley to “get out” as she tried to hit him with her walking frame.

A SPIRITED 97-year-old attacked a burglar with her walking frame after he and his son conned their way into her Suffolk home, a court heard.

Jessie South shouted at villain John Riley to “get out” as she tried to hit him with her walking frame.

She told police: “If I had been a few years younger I would have given them a good hiding.”

The pensioner had been waiting for her dinner to be delivered on July 9 when Riley knocked at her door claiming to have some money for her.


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She told police: “He pushed me backwards into the kitchen, I was scared and shaking like a leaf. I thought I was going to fall over.”

John Fenn prosecuting at Ipswich Crown Court said Riley, 41, told her she had a hole in her shed and her conifers needed cutting and that he could do the work.

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The victim then became aware of a shadow of someone going into her living room.

Mr Fenn said the elderly woman shouted “what have you nicked?” and both men fled from the house in Chalkston Way, Haverhill empty handed. The second man was Riley's son, 23-year-old Francis Maughan.

Riley of Birmingham and Maughan of Arbury, Cambridge who both pleaded guilty to burglary, have many alias names, the court heard.

Riley also admitted driving away from Haverhill while he was a disqualified driver and pleaded guilty to a second burglary on June 1 in Birmingham.

The court heard that he went to a 92-year-old woman's home taking a child with him on the pretence that a ball had gone into the pensioner's back garden.

While the woman was distracted Riley stole her purse containing £80.

Neil Macaulay, mitigating for Riley, said his client, who has committed similar burglaries throughout the country was a Romany gypsy from Ireland, had an unsettled upbringing with no education and had psychiatric problems.

Joanne Eley for Maughan said he had grown up with a father and mother who used drugs and now had a heroin habit himself which he supported by committing burglaries.

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