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Man jailed for burgling home of 80-year-old woman

PUBLISHED: 07:30 27 March 2019 | UPDATED: 08:08 27 March 2019

Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: ARCHANT

Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: ARCHANT

A man has been jailed after burgling the home of an 80-year-woman in Ipswich - just nine days after he was released on licence from prison.

Lee Holden, 42, who currently resides at HMP Norwich, appeared via videolink at Ipswich Crown Court on Tuesday, March 26, pleading guilty to a charge of burglary.

Prosecuting, Richard Kelly said Holden had been released from prison on licence on April 6, 2017, having previously received a six year sentence for burglary.

As part of his licence conditions, Holden had to stay at a hostel in Ipswich and sign a register at various points in the day to prove he was there.

Mr Kelly told the court Holden had signed the register at 1pm on April 15, 2017, but had not at 4pm.

“The reason he hadn’t was because he was burgling the house of an 80-year-old woman in Heath Lane,” he said.

“It is a three-bedroom house and she lives alone.”

Mr Kelly said the woman was doing some gardening when she went inside to wash her hands and noticed her purse was missing.

He said: “The defendant then came down the stairs so she confronted him and said “give me my purse”. The defendant then said “I haven’t got it” and made his escape through the front door of the property.”

Holden was later recalled to prison for not signing the registration book at the hostel and questioned by detectives about the burglary.

The court heard how the woman’s purse contained £200 in cash, bank cards and her pension card as well as a number of photographs of sentimental value.

“While there was a financial loss of £200, there were some personal photographs in her purse that mattered far more than the money,” he said.

Mr Kelly said the burglary had a profound effect on the victim, that she is now worried about every sound she hears in her home and needs someone to be with her when she enters it, especially when it is dark.

He added that Holden had been linked to the burglary through DNA collected at the scene.

In mitigation, Joanne Eley said Holden was remorseful for his actions but had no recollection of it happening.

“He has spent 22 years of his life in prison, which is a very sad position,” she said.

Judge David Pugh jailed Holden for 33 months.

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