Home News Lytham Distraction Burglar Who Preyed On Lone Elderly Residents Jailed!

Lytham Distraction Burglar Who Preyed On Lone Elderly Residents Jailed!

0 comment

A 45 year old man who preyed upon elderly people who lived alone, carrying out burglaries in Lytham  as well as Blackpool, Bury, Burnley, Blackburn, Rishton and Great Harwood, has been jailed for six years.

For most of the offences,  Christopher McKillop would call at houses and claim his van was broken down, asking to go inside to charge his mobile phone so he could call for recovery.

Once inside, he would distract his victims by asking for a drink or to use the toilet, before stealing money and bank cards. McKillop would use the stolen cards at local stores or to pay for hotel rooms.

Preston Crown Court heard that McKillop focussed his attention on bungalows where elderly residents lived alone. In many cases he was able to name a neighbour, who he said he was waiting for, to earn the trust of his victims. He stole bank cards which he used at stores and supermarkets. On one occasion booked himself a Blackpool hotel room for the night using a stolen card. One victim lost more than £6,000 after the fraudster used her bank card to make high value electrical purchases.

David Clarke, prosecuting, said the defendant had recently been released from prison for similar offences, adding, ‘These are well planned, targeted towards elderly and vulnerable victims on all nine occasions.’ McKillop was finally caught when officers traced a stolen card to a hotel in Blackpool where he had stayed the night. His room was searched and bank cards belonging to the defendant and one of his victims were found. His DNA was recovered from cups and glasses at the homes he had raided.

When he found out he was wanted, McKillop set off for Scotland where he had arranged to stay with associates. He only got as far as Cumbria, where officers from Lancashire Police’s burglary team traced him to a B&B in Carlisle and arrested him when he was in bed.

McKillop was jailed for six years by Judge Guy Mathieson at Preston Crown Court yesterday (Wednesday 22nd February). He pleaded guilty to nine distraction burglaries and a several fraud offences relating to the use of stolen bank cards.

Judge Guy Mathieson, sentencing, said: ‘You identified your victims because of their vulnerability, not just their age but also infirmity. One was bedridden and relied on daily carers, some have life shortening illnesses, mobility difficulties and the like. I have no doubt that all have been left devastated by your actions. You displayed astonishing self-assurance, knocking on doors and walking in uninvited, chatting away, accepting drinks and winning their trust. They offered to help, some gave you money, some gave you lifts, and you came back to some later in the day to build up your story.

You requested a variety of things; all lies and tales of woe which tripped off your tongue as absolute truth to convince these vulnerable old people that you were someone in need. They will have been left devastated at the invasion of their homes, the invasion of their lives and the taking of their property. But I know from bitter experience and from listening to their victim statements that often it is the distress and frustration that they feel about their own naivety and gullibility that is the hardest to bear.

It is not a weakness that people of any age want to trust others and want to help them. That is commendable and it is a sadder world that those who wish to see the best in people will fall prey to those who are prepared to take advantage of that and leave them feeling stupid. That diminishes everybody – everybody who hears what happened to those people, and who trust people and offer to help, who aren’t prepared to be a Good Samaritan because they are scared they will turn out to be someone like you.

That is the impact of your offending that can never really be put right.’

Detective Constable Andy Lever from Lancashire Police, said: ‘These were despicable offences committed against elderly victims who lived alone. McKillop used a well-rehearsed story to trick his way into the homes of his victims before stealing their money and bank cards. He travelled around Lancashire committing the offences to fund his drug addiction, and at the time of doing so, he was on prison licence for previous similar offences.

As the judge referred in his sentencing remarks, McKillop took advantage of his victims’ good nature when they believed they were helping a person in need. McKillop abused that good nature by stealing from them when their backs were turned. He deserves every day of his sentence.’

Leave a Comment

Lytham St Annes News provides locals and visitors with news across the Fylde Coast

CATEGORIES

Weather

Lytham St Annes
overcast clouds
79%
2.9km/h
100%
19°C
21°
18°
19°
Thu
18°
Fri
17°
Sat
13°
Sun
12°
Mon

Copyright © 2024. Lytham St Annes News. All Rights Reserved.