A woman has been convicted of burglary after admitting stealing cash from a pensioner’s home.
Melissa De Martino, 27, of Commercial Road, Bedford, preyed on an elderly man who she had carried out cleaning work for after approaching him near his doctor’s surgery in the town, saying she needed money.
The victim paid her and a friend for the work they had done in his Houghton Road home on 6 February, but the following night was disturbed from his bed by De Martino, who was banging on his door demanding to be let in.
When the victim asked De Martino to go away, she pushed past him into the house before making off with his wallet containing £255 in cash and a number of cards.
After pleading guilty to the offence, De Martino was sentenced at Luton Crown Court yesterday (Tuesday).
She was handed an 18-month jail sentence, suspended for two years, and a community order including a nine-month drug rehabilitation requirement, three-month curfew and a 12-month supervision order.
De Martino was also ordered to pay compensation to the victim.
Detective Constable Barry Kerr, who investigated the offence, said: “This was a particularly unusual burglary as the elderly victim had put his trust in the offender to clean his home only the day before, when he had believed she needed help.
“She later abused his kindness by entering his property uninvited and stealing a large amount of cash. The sentence passed by the court should deter her from committing any further offences and should also serve as a warning to other criminals.
“Bedfordshire Police is committed to thoroughly investigating all burglaries and is also heavily involved in rehabilitation work to prevent repeat offending.”