A WIDOW so terrified of criminals after being targeted by crooks that she kept her valuables on her bedside table was heartbroken – when a burglar pounced as she slept.
Now the frail 85 year-old is so terrified of being attacked for a third time, she was not named in open court during the sentencing of the “ashamed” burglar.
Preston Crown Court heard the pensioner had started taking her personal belongings to bed with her after falling victim to bogus officials in March this year.
But just weeks later on April 5, burglar Stephen Staten also targeted her at her home in Bispham, in Blackpool, Lancs, as she slept.
Yet Staten, 48, avoided a prison sentence after the judge was told he despised himself for his actions after learning what the old lady had already been through.
Staten made fame a few years ago when he boasted in the media of how a local alcohol support clinic had turned his criminal life around.
Judge Recorder Howard Bentham suspended his 18 months jail term for two years adding: “People who come before me for burglary usually go straight to prison.”I’m going to give you a chance.
“I can see you understand the awful nature of what you did to that elderly lady, and I was moved by a letter from your ex-partner.”