A Gateacre man has appeared at Liverpool Crown Court following a series of thefts targeting elderly women in South Liverpool.
28-year-old William John Redmond was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court today, (Friday, 10 May) to two counts of burglary, one count of theft, and four counts of fraud and given an indefinite hospital order.
In each of the incidents, Redmond targeted elderly residents, posing as a charity worker before either snatching, stealing or attempting to steal purses from his victims. Following an extensive investigation, Redmond was identified in an identification parade.
Two victim personal statements show the impact that Redmond's offences have had:
One victim, a woman in her 90s, said: "The police officer has told me that the offender has been caught and is now in prison. I am very active and quite laid back. This incident left me very cross with myself for being taken in so easily and being fooled by this man.
"I know that other people could have really been shaken, but I actually ran out to my car and got in and drove around to try and find him and stop him from doing this to other people.
"I am so pleased with the police that they got him and this is a very good job. I imagine this man targeted me because of my age and I know others would have been really shaken up, but I am not like that and I reiterate he made me so cross for falling for his con and how dare he come into my home and steal my property."
A second victim, a woman in her 80s, said: "I am so happy that this man has been caught and I am really happy with the police.
"Since the incident I have been so worried about answering the front door to anyone and felt trapped in my own home. The man was nasty to do this to me and on the day I was so shocked and upset and being told that not only have the police caught him, but he is likely to go to prison has taken a massive weight off my shoulders.
"I have dedicated my life to public service as a nurse and no one has the right to target me in my own home, which I consider a place of sanctuary. This man was young and he has clearly knocked at my door because I am old and unsteady on my feet and there was little chance he would have been caught.
"I cannot state how elated I feel that I know he will not return and I feel that I can now live my life again, happier that he will not return."
Detective Constable Jason Keating, the officer in the case, said: "Redmond is a heartless and calculating offender, who preyed on the most vulnerable members of our communities, taking advantage of their good nature in order to steal and attempt to steal money.
"The impact of being a victim of such a deception is incalculable, especially in the cases of victims in their 90s and some of whom were already suffering from ill health.
"We are pleased that this investigation has removed a dangerous and despicable man from the streets of Liverpool, and would encourage anyone with concerns about similar offences to come forward and we will do the rest.
"In the meantime, there are some things we can all do to ensure that vulnerable family and friends are kept safe from such callous and opportunistic criminals. I would ask people to take a few minutes and ensure that people in your care are given the right advice and guidance, work which we also regularly carry out in our communities.
Do not open your door if you are unsure who the caller is. Always make sure you know who visitors are by asking to see their identification.
• Never let people into your property if you don't know them
• Always keep the key chain on the door whilst talking to callers and always check their ID before letting them into your home.
• Genuine callers won't mind you doing this. If callers haven't got valid identification, don't let them in
• Bogus callers often pretend to be someone official, for example, from a utility company or the water board. They will also try to distract people by asking for a drink of water or if they can use the toilet. Remember "if in doubt, keep them out"
• Remember to close and lock the back door before you answer the front door.
• It's a good idea to have a viewer or spy hole and a stout chain fitted to all the external doors to the property
• Don't keep large quantities of cash at home. It's better in the bank where it's safe
• If someone asks for your help (for example, if they want to make a telephone call or claim to have lost a ball in your garden) always ask a friend or neighbour, or someone else you trust, for help
Anyone with information which could help the police with their inquiries is asked to contact @MerPolCC, call 999 if a crime is in progress or @CrimestoppersUK, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.