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A blind wheelchair user was robbed in his own home after a serial thief followed him back on his way from the pub. Angela Burns was sent to jail this week for the cruel attack on the 86-year-old man, barging him to the floor as she forced her way into his flat in order to steal a measly £6.
The ECHO reports that the nan was previously jailed after a similarly cowardly robbery five years ago. The then 47-year-old had already spent the previous 15 years in and out of prison for preying on vulnerable pensioners when, in the late afternoon of January 4 2017, she tailed a 72-year-old man – who is registered blind – home after he had been drinking in the North Star pub on Laird Street in Birkenhead.
He then heard a knock on his kitchen window, went to his front door and recognised the voice of “Angie from the pub”, where he was a regular. She offered to sell him a coat then forced the door open, pushed the OAP back onto a sofa bed and pinned him down. Burns then stole £160 in cash from his wallet.
The mum-of-two and nan later admitted robbery and was jailed for three years and eight months. She was released from this sentence in 2018, but was subsequently recalled to serve the full term.
Burns has now amassed a total of 70 convictions for 100 offences. She was handed 18 months for burglary in 2002 after stealing an elderly disabled man’s wallet.
In 2007, the defendant received three-and-a-half years for three burglaries having targeted an 81-year-old man. Five years later, Burns was imprisoned for three years and four months after conning her way into sheltered accommodation and burgling residents.
She posed as a care worker to steal money from elderly victims at Foxleigh Grange in Birkenhead. On that occasion, the prolific offender claimed she wanted to turn over a new leaf for the sake of her grandchildren.
But in June 2014 she was put back behind bars for eight months for theft after targeting a 70-year-old man with severe learning difficulties. Liverpool Crown Court heard on Monday that the her latest victim answered a knock at the door of his flat in Birkenhead at around 2pm on August 22 this year.
Christopher Hopkins, prosecuting, said he found Burns on the other side “appearing ready for a fight”. She then “pushed him really hard” and barged past him, causing him to stumble backwards and hit his head on the wall.
The now 53-year-old then “rummaged through” his jacket, which was hanging up in the hallway, and took the £6 in cash before leaving. The site’s duty manager Patricia Johnson saw the man leaving his flat “looking very distressed” and shouting “she has taken my money”.
Ms Johnson told Burns, of Connaught Way, to leave the property and later picked her out in an identity parade. She reported that the site had been plagued by “undesirable people” visiting and that the robber had been visiting “for about 10 years” – having previously been reported by staff for her behaviour, believing she had been “taking advantage” of residents.
A statement read out to the court on behalf of the complainant’s daughter described how the incident had let to his health “deteriorating”. The elderly man has since stopped “looking after himself properly” and taking his medication, leading to a fortnight’s stay in hospital.
He was then admitted to hospital again after his wife was sectioned, and remains there at present. The statement added: “I believe he was traumatized by the offence. He has become noticeably more confused. My dad was a man who valued his independence and would go out on a daily basis. Since the offence, he can hardly leave the flat. It’s clear his confidence has been badly affected.
“I’m worried for his mental health. I believe he does not want to talk about it and is trying to block it from his memory. I believe he is affected by it on a daily basis. He is now a shell of himself. It did take its toll. This changed his life and knocked dad off balance.
“This offence had far reaching consequences. The value of money stolen was small, but the impact of the offe…