Career criminal jailed for 'sneak-in burglary' at home of 'vulnerable' Doncaster woman

A career criminal has been sent back to prison, after she carried out a ‘sneak-in burglary’ at the Doncaster home of a ‘particularly vulnerable’ woman.

Tuesday, 10th September 2019, 3:49 pm
Updated Wednesday, 11th September 2019, 11:17 am

The incident took place on July 15 this year, when defendant, Vanessa Walker, let herself into a woman’s flat while she was home.

Bev Wright, prosecuting, told Sheffield Crown Court that the woman, who suffers from arthritis, was standing in her kitchen making a drink when she was confronted by Walker, aged 46.

“The defendant appeared, saying she was looking for Cindy who was a working girl. She saw the complainant and said she was in the wrong house.

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Third strike burglar, Vanessa Walker, has been jailed for three years for carrying out a 'sneak-in burglary'. Picture: South Yorkshire Police
Third strike burglar, Vanessa Walker, has been jailed for three years for carrying out a 'sneak-in burglary'. Picture: South Yorkshire Police

“She then left and picked up a carrier bag that was in the doorway,” said Mrs Wright.

At around 10pm that evening, the woman discovered that her tablet computer, which she had left charging in her bedroom, had been stolen.

She contacted the police, and officers were able to Walker from CCTV.

Walker was subsequently arrested and interviewed.

Mrs Wright said: “To her credit she [Walker] fully admitted the offence, and said it was because of a drug habit she has.”

In a statement submitted to the court, Walker’s victim said the burglary had left her feeling ‘really scared’ and had been ‘unable to sleep’ since it happened.

Walker, of Broxholme Lane, Wheatley pleaded guilty to one count of burglary at an earlier hearing.

The court was told that Walker has previously been convicted of 58 offences, two of which were for other domestic burglaries.

Mrs Wright said this meant Walker was a ‘third-strike burglar’ and must receive the mandatory minimum sentence of three years.

Edward Moss, defending, said Walker expected to receive ‘another significant custodial sentence’ for the offence.

“The majority of her convictions have been committed in the last 10 years, and that’s due to an addiction to Class A drugs, which she developed in 2009, and simply can’t control,” said Mr Moss.

He added: “She has a history of mental illness, she is under treatment for that. She is fit to plead and understands proceedings.”

Judge Peter Kelson QC jailed Walker for three years.

He told her: “This is a sneak-in burglary, and involves a confrontation with a very unwell woman. It wasn’t a violent confrontation but it was a face-to-face confrontation with the householder finding a stranger in her home...she was particularly vulnerable.”