Burglar Patrick Gallon stole from a couple in sheltered accommodation in Erdington, Birmingham

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Patrick Gallon, from Acocks Green, spent just under £100 after stealing a woman’s purse and was jailed for four-and-a-half years

A “nasty and mean” burglar from Birmingham stole from a woman and her disabled husband to fund his crack and heroin addiction a court heard.

Patrick Gallon, 40, of Dolphin Lane in Acocks Green, was found wandering inside the block of flats which are part of a sheltered accommodation scheme in Erdington, with an older man who suffers from dementia on December 3 by a female resident.

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But after the female victim told the intruder to leave and escorted her neighbour back to his flat, she returned to her own home to discover her purse was missing.

Her husband’s bank card was in the purse along with her own bank card, a photo of her and her late mother, and a card signed by her mother.

The bank confirmed her husband’s card had been used three times in the space of six minutes, including to buy a packet of cigarettes from a branch of Tesco.

West Midlands Police identified Gallon by reviewing the Tesco’s CCTV images and comparing them with a custody photo. On December 15 the police visited Gallon’s home to find he was out, but Gallon handed himself in later that morning. Gallon had spent “just under £100” overall, Birmingham Crown Court heard.

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Mr Lal Amarsinghe, prosecuting, read from the victim’s personal statement: “It gives me the creeps to think a creep was in my home. I was disgusted to know what you had done. I hope you are disgusted with yourself – probably not. Let’s hope nothing like this ever happens to you.”

The victim also expressed sorrow that she will “never get back” the photograph and card which had sentimental value. The victim’s husband who is disabled as a result of an aneurysm and stroke didn’t really understand what had happened, it was revealed. But she was “very stressed” as she uses his bank cards to pay for their shopping and things he needs.

Patrick GallonPatrick Gallon
Patrick Gallon | West Midlands Police

Mr Antoine Muller, defending, explained Gallon’s crime was a result of his drug addiction, worsened by grief for his mother who died of cancer last September.

He said of the crime: “Whilst it is opportunistic it is not sophisticated. It is a desperate crime in a sense because it is simply to feed his crack and heroin habit. One is ill equipped for life’s slings and arrows when one is in the grips of class A drug addiction.”

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Judge Peter Carr said: “This was a mean and nasty offence and seriously aggravated. I am afraid that it is obvious that the only sentence is one of imprisonment.” He sentenced Gallon, who had admitted burglary and fraud, to four and a half years.