Window cleaners preyed upon man with memory loss
TWO window cleaners preyed on an elderly man, stealing a laptop containing the only photographs he had of his dead son.
Joe Tate, 22, and David Bradley, 27, have been jailed for targeting the man, who had suffered a brain haemorrhage.
In a victim impact statement read out at Hull Crown Court, the man's wife said: "They targeted my husband on one of the few occasions I went out and was not with him.
"I remember speaking to them both previously about his illness.
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"We both feel cheated by this offence. We feel they deliberately targeted us."
Knowing the man suffered memory problems, Tate and Bradley had waited for the man's wife to leave before knocking on the door of the couple's house in Bransholme.
They had gone to his home to ask if he wanted his windows cleaned, even though they had only done them just two days earlier.
Bradley noticed the laptop sitting on the table before he was told by the man to come back when his wife was home.
Tate then knocked on the front door, asking if the man wanted his gutters cleaning, giving Bradley the opportunity to break in through the back door and steal the computer.
Bradley sent Tate a text saying "Bang Now" to distract the victim.
The pair made off with the computer, worth £479, which contained photographs of the couple's son, who had died.
They both pleaded guilty to the burglary on July 5 after they were caught when neighbours reported them to police. Detectives discovered the text message on Tate's phone, which had been sent seconds before the burglary happened.
Tate has a previous conviction for a distraction burglary.
Judge Simon Jack said: "It was an extremely mean offence, committed against a very vulnerable man at a time when his full-time carer, his wife, was away.
"It caused a significant degree of sentimental loss to the victim. The material on the computer was irreplaceable.
"This is a case where the victim was deliberately targeted because of his vulnerability.
"You had been told by his wife of his difficulties which involved his memory loss and that made him an easy target. You picked a time when his carer was away and I'm satisfied this was not a coincidence. The two of you worked together to distract him to steal his laptop.
"There was a significant degree of planning and organisation."
Tate, of Borthwick Close, Bransholme, has been jailed for three and a half years and Bradley, of Blackhope Close, Bransholme, has been jailed for two years and four months.
Tate has 10 previous convictions including burglary convictions.