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Red Lodge teenager faces prison after stealing from a pensioner who was shielding at her home in Barrow

A 19-year-old faces prison after he stole from a ‘vulnerable pensioner’ who was shielding from the pandemic, a court heard today.

Lewis Falco, of Bridge End Road, Red Lodge, called at the home of the 70-year-old woman in Barrow, on August 19, last year.

He first offered gardening work before asking if could use her toilet and for a glass of water.

Ipswich Crown Court
Ipswich Crown Court

After leaving the house, the pensioner noticed that her purse, containing cash and cards was missing from the table in the hallway.

Ipswich Crown Court heard that the woman had allowed Falco into her home as he was 'persistent', had mentioned gardening for a neighbour, appeared 'agitated', and because 'she felt sorry for him'.

Falco was arrested the next day after he was identified via a thumb print on the drinking glass andhaving been captured on CCTV on Newmarket Road and at a McColls store, where he used the stolen cards, three times.

Prosecuting barrister, Stephen Mather, told the court that, upon arrest, Falco also tested positive for cocaine which suggested he had been under the influence of drugs when he called at the woman’s house, on Mill Road,

Falco, who appeared via prison video link, had earlier pleaded guilty to one count of burglary and three counts of fraud by misrepresentation, and appeared for sentencing.

Defending barrister, Joanne Eley, told the court that Falco, who has no previous convictions, ‘was pressured’ into the offence by others who had 'recruited him into a gang'.

Miss Eley, said: “They had recruited him to be gardener, or so he thought.

"He says that that they had been carrying out gardening work in that general vicinity.

“In terms of him being the one who identified that property, he wasn’t the one, it was those who he was with.

“He was exploited by others, more sophisticated than him and pressured into committing this burglary.”

Miss Eley went on to add that Falco, according to his pre-sentence report, also suffered mental health problems.

Judge Dijen Basu, adjourned the case for medical reports relating to this stating that he couldn’t pass sentence until these were provided.

“This was a vulnerable old lady who was shielding against the pandemic which makes it very serious,” he said.

The prosecution is also seeking compensation of £95, made up from £50 in notes, a £25 M&S gift card and coins, contained in the purse.

The case was adjourned for sentencing until April 19.

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