AN elderly woman’s life has been ruined after a serial burglar left her living in fear, a court heard.
Kevin Kelly was told he had “destroyed” his 90-year-old victim’s life after he let himself into her flat on Shaw Road, South Shore.
Preston Crown Court was told how the pensioner had been left so terrified by the incident she now spends her days behind a locked door, too fearful to leave it open for visitors.
Shockingly, at the time Kelly committed the offence – in September last year – he was already on licence after being handed a 42-month sentence by a court in Newcastle for six burglaries and one attempted burglaries.
And after admitting burglary with intent and a second separate offence of theft from a hotel room in April this year, Kelly, of Adelaide Street, Blackpool, is now back behind bars for three years and three months.
The 30-year-old had entered the woman’s flat after making his way past the communal security, but fled empty handed after being spotted by the woman in her bedroom.
But his defence barrister insisted he had not deliberately targeted a vulnerable victim.
Jonathan Lally added: “He was drunk when he stumbled across the building.
“He immediately removed himself. There was no attempt to explain his way out or have a conversation.
“He is utterly ashamed of the fact this happened in relation to this lady. He is extremely embarrassed.
“It was utter stupidity due to drink. When he isn’t drunk he is a very pleasant individual.”
But Judge Robert Altham said despite not deliberately targeting the pensioner, Kelly’s actions had helped destroy her life in a place her family believed she would be safe.
He told the defendant: “Although you didn’t target her as a victim, she was a vulnerable victim, about as vulnerable as one can expect.
“This is a case of extreme impact upon the complainant.
“Her lifeline was that open flat door, where she could receive visitors. You have quite simply destroyed that.
“She is now locked away in her flat, relatively inaccessible to people. This was an extremely serious offence.
“These offences have to be met with proper punishment to reflect, in particular, the damage you have done to the complainant.”