Police release photo of prolific burglar jailed for preying upon the elderly

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This is a serial burglar from Sheffield who preyed upon the elderly in their own homes.

Andrew Deeley, aged 56 and formerly of Butchill Avenue, Ecclesfield, Sheffield, targeted victims in their 80s and 90s across Sheffield and Barnsley, according to a Sheffield Crown Court hearing.

It was claimed he has a long-standing crack cocaine addiction and he commits crime to fund his habit.

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Judge Graham Reeds QC described Deeley during the hearing on September 9 as a ‘career criminal’ who used confidence tricks or other opportunities to get into the homes of the elderly or vulnerable.

Serial burglar Andrew DeeleySerial burglar Andrew Deeley
Serial burglar Andrew Deeley

Rebecca Tanner, defending Deeley, said: “These are mean offences committed against vulnerable victims. The defendant has had a long-standing addiction to class A drugs, specifically crack-cocaine, and the offending has come about as a result of him putting his needs to fund his addiction well and truly above the victims’ rights to privacy in their own homes and the rights to their own property.”

Emily Jenkins, prosecuting, said Deeley’s latest offending included seven burglaries and an attempted burglary between March and June.

She said Deeley claimed to be a council workman when he visited an 85-year-old widow’s home on St Michael’s Crescent, Ecclesfield, Sheffield, in March, and stole over £400 in cash and jewellery including the victim’s engagement ring.

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Deeley also claimed to have been a workman when he entered an 84-year-old woman’s home on Carter Road, Heeley, Sheffield.

He stole her purse and several hundred pounds in cash.

Ms Jenkins said Deeley even followed a carer into a 94-year-old Sheffield woman’s home before he was disturbed and fled on another occasion.

Deeley also struck at the home of a 94-year-old woman, on Walk Lane, Barnsley, claiming to be a workman but he was confronted by a neighbour who took his picture as he left empty-handed, according to Ms Jenkins.

Ms Jenkins said that on the same day Deeley was spotted by a 69-year-old Barnsley woman with mobility issues leaving her property on Howard Street and it was discovered her purse, £120 and bank cards had been taken.

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Deeley also claimed he was from the council when he was spotted in another elderly woman’s home on June 8 on Broadway, Barnsley, and two empty purses were taken, according to Ms Jenkins.

Ms Jenkins added Deeley had also been in another elderly woman’s Barnsley home on the same day and police later recovered a jacket from him on Racecommon Road containing £890 before he escaped during a struggle.

The court heard Deeley was linked to some of the burglaries from CCTV and DNA matches and he was arrested as he got off a bus.

Deeley, who has 22 convictions for 77 offences including burglaries, pleaded guilty to seven burglaries and one attempted burglary.

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Ms Tanner said: “He is somebody that whilst under the influence of drugs already accepts his behaviour – in his words –has been feral and he has lost his mind and he has been on a one-track mission.”

She added Deeley had struggled to find accommodation after a previous release from prison and he has shown remorse.

Judge Reeds told Deeley: “Your offending has had a very serious effect on those elderly victims.”

He sentenced Deeley to eight years and six months of custody and ordered him to pay £1,046.34 compensation.