A callous Sheffield thief who stole from an 89-year-old pensioner that allowed him into his home to use the toilet has been jailed for 40 months.
Malcolm Page, who has previously been convicted of a series distraction burglaries carried out against victims in their 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s, gained access to the home of his elderly victim after he approached him on the street.
Page, of Myrtle Road, Heeley asked the man where the nearest public toilets were and was invited in to the pensioner's nearby home to use the bathroom.
Sheffield Crown Court was told how after using the bathroom Page, aged 42, asked for a glass of water, which he was given.
Page was left alone to drink the water, and after he left the property his victim, who lives alone, noticed a drawer had been left open in his kitchen.
When the man went to check the drawer he discovered a plastic wallet containing cash cards for the Post Office was missing. He raised the alarm with the police shortly afterwards.
The force was able to trace Page, who was working as a construction worker at the time of the incident in August 2015, using forensics from the glass he had used at his victim's house.
After being charged with the offence, Page pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing.
Defence barrister Claire Walsh told the court that family troubles had led Page to revert back to his old ways of drug-taking and burglaries, and in mitigation said Page had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity and had not attempted to withdraw any money from the cash cards he had stolen.
She said: "In the year since the offence my client has begun to turn his life around, and want to continue with this once he leaves prison."
On sentencing Page to 40 months in prison, Judge Slater said: "This (offence) shows you returning to your old ways.
"I regard that as an aggravating factor and will raise the starting custody point for this serious offence."
Page was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge.
Speaking after the sentencing, PC Steve Walch from Sheffield said: “Page preyed on this elderly man’s vulnerability, exploiting his kind nature to get inside his home.
"Once inside, Page stole whatever he could for financial gain before leaving.
“Targeting elderly or vulnerable people in burglaries is absolutely despicable and I am pleased he pleaded guilty to this offence.
“Even though this crime happened over a year ago, we were still able to bring this man before the courts and put him behind bars.
“I hope this reassures other victims of burglary that we have dedicated officers who work very hard to catch these criminals, and we will not stop doing so.”
Advice and guidance about distraction burglary is available on our website: http://southyorks.police.uk/content/operationliberal.