A LOWLIFE thief who left a 93-year-old woman traumatised was today branded “appalling” by an elderly people’s spokesman.
Sunderland Age UK boss Alan Patchett hit out at the actions of cowardly David Hill who kicked down the door of a sleeping pensioner’s home, to steal her TV.
Serial raider Hill was put behind bars for three years and four months for the late-light raid, which left the woman terrified.
Mr Patchett said: “This is a pretty grim incident for an older person to suffer. You don’t expect a 93-year-old to have someone smash down their door to steal a TV while they are in the house. Words fail me.”
The terrified pensioner, who lives alone in Concord, was woken by the noise and shouted out when she realised someone was in her house.
She remained in her bedroom until help arrived from her daughter and a neighbour who had heard what was going on.
By then Hill had fled, leaving the front door off its hinges.
Hill, 38, of Stoneycroft, Albany, who has 88 previous convictions, admitted burglary.
Newcastle Crown Court heard how the raid has had a huge impact on the woman’s life, who now has problems sleeping in her home.
Mr Patchett said: “It sounds like there was nothing the woman could have done to prevent this from happening but there are measures elderly people can take.
“They should buy a good lock for their door and not let strangers into their house without checking identification first.
“What I don’t want is for older people to be frightened by this. This is a rare incident and it’s appalling that it has happened but in general Sunderland is a safe place.”
Neighbourhood Inspector Paul Stewart, said: “Being broken into is hugely distressing and we’re pleased this man will now face the consequences of the crimes he has committed.
“We will continue to tackle burglaries across Washington and take proactive action against burglars to make sure they are put before the courts and face the consequences of their actions.”