Scunthorpe burglar who targeted pensioners jailed

Scunthorpe burglar who targeted pensioners jailed

Scunthorpe burglar who targeted pensioners jailed

A burglar from Scunthorpe has been jailed after he was caught targeting vulnerable pensioners in their own homes during a two-week crime spree.

Christopher Holdstock, 44, of Rochester Close pretended to sell cigarettes to pensioners in order to con his way into their homes.

Once inside, he burgled them of both cash and possessions.

He was caught after one of his victim’s sons took photographs of him during a violent confrontation.
Hull Crown Court heard how on February 2, Holdstock visited a 59-year-old man and offered to sell him tobacco.
This began his two-week crime spree.

On February 14 at around 3pm, Holdstock targeted an 85-year-old man at home, offering to sell him cigarettes.

The victim invited him in for coffee and offered him £20.

But, once inside Holdstock told the man he had left the cigarettes in his car and failed to return.

He had stolen £700 in cash, a wallet and identification cards from inside the house.

Three days later, on February 17, Holdstock launched a violent assault against another pensioner he met on Jameson Street, Hull.

Stephen Welch, prosecuting, said:

“He approached the man, who had been out drinking with friends, and asked if he wanted to buy some cigarettes. The man took £50 out at the cash machine and agreed to pay £10 for three packs.

“Holdstock took him to an alleyway, and the complainant handed over £10. Holdstock didn’t give him anything but started punching him in the head several times.

“He [the victim] fell backwards onto the floor and hit his head.”

Holdstock kicked him and stole two £10 notes, two £20 notes and a bank card.

The man was left with injuries which required hospital treatment.

Holdstock continued to target two 64-year-old woman, and was later arrested.

Judge John Thackray was asked to take into consideration six other offences of theft that were, Mr Welch said, “very serious matters” against vulnerable victims.

Holdstock has 80 previous convictions, 31 of which were for dishonesty, and 13 for robbery.

All of Holdstock’s previous robbery offences involved an offer to sell the victim tobacco or cigarettes.

He was also on licence at the time he committed the thefts, robbery and common assault.

Mitigating, Richard Thompson, said Holdstock’s offending was part of a pattern he followed after becoming hooked on heroin and crack cocaine.

Concluding that Holdstock is a dangerous offender and poses a high risk of re-offending, Judge Thackray handed him an extended sentence of 11 years.

He told Holdstock:

“Your offending represents a a campaign of the deliberate targeting of vulnerable victims. Your offending had a significant effect on your victims – those of mature years sometimes never recover from offending like this.

“Your offending is significantly aggravated by your previous convictions and the fact that you were on licence at the time of these offences.

“There were multiple victims who were elderly and vulnerable and your offending happened over a significant period. Because you have been convicted of a specified offences I need to consider your dangerousness. I am satisfied that you do present such a risk.

“You present a significant risk of causing serious harm by committing further specified offences against vulnerable victims.”

Holdstock must serve at least two thirds of his sentence before going before being considered for release.

If he is released, he will serve his extended licence period of four years.

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