Peterborough burglar jailed for breaking into pensioner’s home while she was in hospital

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A man who broke into an elderly woman’s home while she was in hospital has been sentenced to five years in prison.

Mark Sunderland, (36), of Beverley Court in Eye, Peterborough, was found guilty yesterday (Thursday) of burglary and theft following a three-day trial at Cambridge Crown Court.

On January 29 this year (2017), the victim, a woman in her 90s, suffered a fall at her home in Lincoln Road and was hospitalised.

A side door to the bungalow was boarded up after the ambulance service had to effect entry by removing a panel from the door.

The following day, the victim’s nephew attended the house where he found the board had been removed from the door and a television and cash had been stolen from inside the bungalow.

A roll-up cigarette was found on the floor near to the point of entry which was recovered by officers for forensic examination. A full match was made through DNA linking it to Sunderland.

On February 7 he was arrested and charged with one count of burglary and theft.

He denied the charges, however a jury came to a majority verdict of guilty yesterday afternoon (Thursday).

Detective Sergeant Justin Howard said: “Burglaries are one of the most intrusive crimes and I’m pleased the court were able to reflect the seriousness of the offence in the sentence given to Sunderland.

“At a time when the victim was in hospital due to ill health, Sunderland took advantage of this and burgled the victim’s home address.

“My thanks go out to the officer in charge of the investigation, DC Dave May, who carried out a tenacious investigation and was able to ensure Sunderland was brought to justice.

“I hope this sends out a clear message that if you commit crime in our city, the burglary squad will find you, you shall be placed before the courts and expect a significant prison sentence.”