Self-confessed 'scumbag' burglar near Harborough jailed for stealing cash and clothes from 90-year-old dementia sufferer

The burglar told the court he is disgusted in his own behaviour and that he deserves to be jailed
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A self-confessed "scumbag" burglar near Harborough has been jailed for stealing cash and clothes from a 90-year-old dementia sufferer.

William Wallace, 50, saw his victim's home had scaffolding up last June, so knocked on the door and told the man he owed him £500 for roofing work.

When the 90-year-old told him he didn't have any money Wallace offered to help him look inside the home in Rothwell and later left with some cash, a jacket and a diary.

William Wallace.William Wallace.
William Wallace.

It emerged Wallace, of the Greenacres Travellers’ site on Leicester Road to the north of Market Harborough, has convictions for more than 70 offences and was out of prison on licence at the time.

He had no idea that the incident was caught on a camera system which had been set up by the victim’s son.

His lawyer told the court that he had described himself to them as a "scumbag".

Earlier that day Wallace, who appeared at court over videolink from HMP Peterborough, had also knocked on the door of a woman in her 70s.

He told her she needed work done on her roof urgently and gave a quote but the woman said she didn’t need work doing.

Wallace was persistent and spent about 10 minutes trying to negotiate before the victim thought he had left and locked the doors.

She then found him in her dining room and noticed that the dresser doors were open.

He said: "Thankfully nothing was taken."

Wallace was arrested two weeks later, where he found was drinking alcohol outside a pub at 9.15am, and denied burgling the victims but said he might have been canvassing for work.

He later pleaded guilty to two burglaries and the court heard his conviction triggered the ‘third strike’ rule, where those convicted of domestic burglaries three times face a starting point of three years in prison.

Wallace had been jailed for a burglary in 2021 and was on licence at the time of the Rothwell incidents.

Mitigating, Diane Mundill said Wallace had told her he is a scumbag.

She said: "He cannot believe he did what he did...he is disgusted in his own behaviour.

"He says whatever sentence your honour gives he will take it because he deserves it."

Ms Mundill said Wallace is an alcoholic and was intoxicated at the time, adding that he was previously addicted to drugs but had become drug-free.

She said: "He wants to work with the prison service to address his alcoholism so that when he comes out he can knuckle down."

At Northampton Crown Court, His Honour Judge Rupert Mayo told Wallace that the burglary was a 'gross violation of a very vulnerable person'.

Judge Mayo jailed Wallace for three years and five months and told him he would serve up to have of his sentence in custody before being released on licence.

Just before the hearing ended the burglar decided to address the court and said he was ‘really, really sorry’.

He said: "I hope this sentence is the last time I sit in front of a judge...I mean it. I know you have probably heard it 1,000 times but I do."