House burglar who struck while dementia sufferer was in hospital is jailed

A career burglar who struck at the home of a dementia sufferer in Castleford while the elderly woman was in hospital has been jailed for four-years.

Leeds Crown Court heard 51-year-old Shane Coldwell of Pontefract has been burgling people’s homes for 30-years.

The court heard Shane Coldwell has been burgling peoples homes for 30-years.

The court heard Shane Coldwell has been burgling peoples homes for 30-years.

Prosecutor, Louise Gallagher said Coldwell’s latest victim is in the early stages of vascular dementia and was in hospital following a fall when he committed the offence at 1.30pm on May 13.

Ms Gallagher said a neighbour hearing a banging noise from the woman’s home and saw Coldwell stood near the back door.

Woman banned from driving after being caught drunk at McDonald's drive-through
Coldwell was caught on CCTV as he ran away from the scene.

Ms Gallagher said the woman was in the habit of leaving the rear porch door at her house unlocked.

Coldwell, of South Baileygate, Pontefract, had smashed a glass panel in a locked internal door before he was disturbed by the neighbour.

Ms Gallagher said Coldwell has 95 previous convictions for 28 offences, including 67 for theft.

He was first jailed for burglary in 1988 when he was aged 20.

He has since served a string of prison sentences for burglary offences, including a five year sentence in 2009.

Coldwell admitted burglary.

Appeal for witnesses after teenager dies as car crashes into railway bridge
Mitigating, Michael Smith said: “He was in care when he was younger, that isn’t an excuse for his actions.”

Mr Smith added: “The previous offences were when he was in the throes of a drugs habit.”

Jailing Coldwell for four years, Judge Tom Bayliss QC, said: “For the past 30 years you have been burgling people’s homes.

“It is an aggravating feature that this burglary was committed at the home of an elderly person.

“She was in the early stages of vascular dementia. She lives alone, at the time of the burglary she had been admitted to hospital after a fall.”