Terminally ill Blackpool mum 'scared to sleep at night' after homeless man she had taken pity on stole her most valuable belongings
A terminally ill mum with less than 12 months to live invited a homeless man into her home - only to have her most valuable belongings stolen while she slept.
Edward Plumb, 28, stole more than £2,000 of electronics from Sharon Heywood, 56, and her son Daniel in March this year.
The pair had invited Plumb to stay with them while he was between homes after Sharon met him at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.
But while Daniel was out getting medication for his mum, who has terminal chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Plumb raided their North Shore home and went on the run.
Daniel, 30, said: “My mum needed some medical stuff so me and my auntie had gone out, and later on I get a text (from Plumb) saying that he had been robbed.
“I came home and everything was gone.
“I went into the bedroom and my mum was there on her ventilator asleep, and they had shut her door.”
Plumb had made off with £2,000 of property, including a flat-screen TV, a games console, a surround sound system, two Samsung tablets, a bluetooth speaker and £100 in cash.
Daniel said: “It’s a slap in the face. But more than that, I feel angry. At the end of the day, if it had just been me I wouldn’t have been so angry. But because it was done to my mum I feel that people need to know exactly what he’s like.
“Who are we to know that when he gets out he won’t do exactly the same thing again?”
Plumb, of no fixed address, appeared at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court on July 5.
He indicated a guilty plea to a charge of theft, and was sentenced to 182 days in prison.
He was ordered to pay £100 in compensation and a £115 victims surcharge.
On June 25, Plumb was jailed for 240 days at Blackpool Magistrates Court after pleading guilty to theft and fraud by false representation.
The court heard how, on June 6 at 10.20pm, he stole a 62-year-old woman’s handbag as she walked along Church Street.
He later used a card from the woman’s handbag at the Central Convenience Store on Central Drive.
He must serve both his sentences concurrently.
Daniel, who is a full-time carer for his mum, said the sentence wasn’t good enough, as he and Sharon have not had any of their belongings returned to them - and vowed to fight for a tougher penalty.
He said: “He can rob my mum on end of life care and only get 182 days? Not on my watch. I’m fighting it to the end, because I don’t feel that 180 days is enough.
“I have still got my mum scared to be left alone in the house. She’s scared to sleep at night.
“I feel annoyed because I don’t feel that he has had what he should. I have still got to pay £15 a week for the TV. There’s still £1,300 left to pay and I’m paying it though I haven’t even got the TV.
“Since the incident my mum is very jumpy and it’s got to the point where she won’t let anybody stay.
“It affects me daily. There are times when I break down when I am on my own.
“I’m left picking up the pieces, where beforehand everything was starting to get on evenly.
“My mum had more support from people so I had more time for myself.
“We used to have a volunteer from a centre come and stay with my mum - she won’t allow that any more. It’s just destroyed her trust.”
COPD is the name for a group of progressive lung conditions that cause breathing difficulties, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
Early symptoms can include breathlessness, a cough, and frequent chest infections.
COPD is a serious condition that can eventually reach a stage where it becomes life threatening. The five-year life expectancy for people diagnosed with COPD ranges from 40 per cent to 70 per cent.