Fugitive raided Halifax house and home of woman who died from a brain tumour

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A fugitive prisoner who admitted he was SCUM for ransacking a widow’s home has been jailed for three years.

Ryan Coyne, 21, was released on licence halfway through a sentence for robbery but failed to comply with his conditions in May last year.

A court heard he didn’t answer letters and then burgled two houses while he was on the run.

He first broke into a property in Halifax and stole £1,900 worth of jewellery in December last year.

Coyne then broke into a house in Chaddesden, Derby, in January - just weeks after widow Doreen Jepson had died of a brain tumour.

A court heard the prolific burglar admitted the crimes were “a scummy thing to do”.

Coyne, of no fixed address, admitted two burglaries and for being unlawfully at large and was jailed for three years at Derby Crown Court.

Recorder David Chinery said: “The burglaries caused an enormous amount of distress.”

The court heard Coyne was recalled to HMP Dovegate in Uttoxeter in May last year after he failed to comply with his licence conditions.

Prosecutor Sarah Slater said he burgled two houses in two months but was caught when his blood was found at both properties.

She added: “Between December 5 and 7 a house was broken into in Halifax and £1,900 of jewellery, including watches, earrings, wedding rings and sovereign rings were taken.

“A knife was discovered in the property and blood found on it matched the DNA of the defendant.

“Then In January a house in Ordish Avenue, Chaddesden, was broken into by the defendant.

“The neighbours of a woman who had died late last year after being diagnosed with a brain tumour were called to the house after being told the light were on.

“They discovered it had been broken into via a smashed back door and almost every room had been ransacked, although nothing had been taken.”

Coyne was arrested after being tracked to an address in Derby when police found the blood from inside both houses contained his DNA.

The court heard widow Doreen Jepson had died just weeks before Coyne burgled her home in Chaddesden, Derby.

The break-in was discovered by her closest friends and neighbours Lee and Lynne Sumner, who had lived opposite her for almost 30 years.

Mrs Sumner, 71, said: “Doreen was the loveliest little lady you could wish to meet.

“She had the loveliest little smile and it was so heartbreaking when we saw what this man had done at her house.

“She and her husband had no children but all of their life’s photographs were just scattered on the floor and all of the drawers in almost all the rooms were tipped out.

“The place had been ransacked and it looked terrible.”

The court heard Coyne had previous convictions including four burglaries dating back to 2011 and a robbery.

Felicity Hemlin, defending, said: “He is 21 and has an appalling record.

“This is his fourth or fifth house burglary and he is an immature man who does not appreciate the consequences of his actions.

“In conference with his client he told me what he did was ‘a scummy thing to do’.”