Victim conned by 'cruel' thief

The Oxford Times: Jake Smith Jake Smith

AN ARTIST has been jailed for two and a half years after stealing two televisions from a stroke victim in a “cruel” burglary.

Jake Smith, 23, got into his elderly victim’s West Oxford home by pretending to know her, and later returned to raid it when she was out.

Smith admitted the September 28 burglary at Oxford Crown Court on Monday.

Prosecutor Cathy Olliver told the court Smith had raided the home in Osney Lane after he tricked the victim into thinking he knew her.

She said Smith even helped his victim into her mobility buggy as she was leaving the house, before coming back to steal.

But the barrister said Smith’s DNA was found on a cigarette butt at the home and he was also caught on CCTV returning to the home.

Peter Du Feu, defending, said Smith had been released from prison in April for burglary and was trying to stay clean.

But he said: “It was simply a question of him being of limited means and resorting to old ways.”

Mr Du Feu said Smith had been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, which meant he could not “reform and adjust”.

The lawyer showed Judge Mary Jane Mowat a pencil drawing Smith had done of his girlfriend, and said: “He has a remarkable facility with arts.

“There is another side to him and that is what he spends his time doing in prison.”

But Judge Mowat, sentencing, told Smith: “This was a mean, cruel type of burglary against somebody who was obviously vulnerable.

“You somehow wormed your way into the house under the pretence the lady knew you.”

Smith was also ordered to pay a £120 victims’ surcharge.

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