A “despicable” man and woman entered the home of a disabled man and stole his iPad which he needed for communicating with people.
Viktorija Simkuniene (32) and Saulius Vainauskas (29) went to the victim’s house in Park Road, Peterborough, at 10am on September 12 last year. The house was equipped with CCTV cameras and footage from that day showed the pair trying the window before ringing the doorbell.
The victim, Stephen Facer, was at home reclined in his chair at the time. Mr Facer, who has motor neurone disease, is wheelchair bound and relies on his iPad to communicate.
When Simkuniene and Vainauskas rang his doorbell Mr Facer was expecting a parcel so he let the pair in – he was able to open the door automatically from his chair.
Simkuniene and Vainauskas walked through the door and into the living room where Mr Facer was sitting. They asked him if he could help them to find a B&B before quickly leaving. After they left, Mr Facer noticed his iPad, which was on the arm of the sofa, had gone, so he activated his emergency button for help.
When initially questioned by police, Simkuniene of Russell Street, Millfield, and Vainauskas of Dogsthorpe Road, who were identified by the CCTV footage, denied seeing Mr Facer and stealing his iPad. They claimed they were going to visit a friend and got the wrong address.
However, the pair later pleaded guilty to burglary.
They were sentenced at Peterborough Crown Court earlier today (Tuesday, March 26). Vainauskas received 21 months in prison, while Simkuniene was handed an 18 month sentence, suspended for two years.
She was also ordered to complete a six month Alcohol Treatment Requirement, a 20 day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement and pay £500 in compensation.
DC Fran Scott, investigating, said: “This was a brazen and heartless crime. To take away a lifeline and only method of communication from a disabled man who was powerless to do anything is despicable.
“I am pleased we have managed to get justice for the victim and hope it serves as a lesson to anyone who thinks they can target vulnerable people.”
For online burglary prevention advice visit: www.cambs.police.uk/A-Z/Burglary.
Anyone with information about burglary should call police on 101 or visit www.cambs.police.uk/report.
Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org.