Heartless trickster is jailed for three years

Darren Stones
Darren Stones

A CALLOUS thief stole cash from the home of a housebound pensioner after being offered work.

Darren Stones, 41, approached the Brighouse home of the 83-year-old man and asked if he wanted his gutters cleaning.

The elderly man, housebound for three years after the death of his wife, agreed. Stones also asked if he wanted loose slates on the roof repairing.

Stones charged him £30 and the elderly man went upstairs to get cash to pay him.

The previous day his daughter had dropped off £300 he kept in a drawer in his bedroom.

Once the work was finished, Stones asked if he could use the upstairs toilet, which was next to the bedroom.

When Stones left, the householder checked his bedroom and saw a drawer partially opened.

Bradford Crown Court heard the elderly man said Stones had taken the full £300 but Stones only admitted taking £80.

Kate Walsh, defending, said the victim was left extremely upset by this breach of trust as he could live for a week on £80.

Stones was described as a class A drug user who had been making steps to improve his behaviour before this crime was committed.

Judge Jonathan Durham Hall said: “The gentleman was salt of the earth, a hard-working and trusting man who was subject to an unwelcome visit from you.

“You were in the grip of a wicked addiction that explains some of your falling to such a despicable level.

“You deserve very little in the way of credit.”

Stones admitted burglary and was sentenced to three years in prison.

DC Eileen Walsh, of Calderdale CID, said: “Stones preyed on a vulnerable, elderly man by gaining his trust before stealing money.

“We hope the sentence today serves as a warning to others who may be thinking of committing a similar crime.

“We would urge residents not to allow anyone into their home unless they are expecting a visit from a legitimate company and to always check their identification.”