A CALLOUS thief who pretended to be an under-cover police officer to trick his way into the home of trusting 92-year-old Crosby woman to stole her purse has been jailed for four years.
The victim and her family were devastated by this cruel raid - in which £600 savings were taken - and they have been left upset and uneasy.
Michael Delaney, who is a traveller, carried out the theft with another accomplice when they posed as officers in order to get access into the pensioner’s home on Trevor Road.
Delaney appeared at Liverpool Crown Court on Friday, October 9 when he was put behind bars.
“This was a disgraceful crime. It was highly dishonest, cunning and cynical and committed against an elderly vulnerable lady of 92,” said Judge Garrett Byrne.
“I am satisfied you targeted her because of her age,” he added.
Gerald Baxter, prosecuting, told Liverpool Crown Court that the victim had been watching ‘Songs of Praise’ on the television at lunchtime on July 19 this year at her home.
She went into the kitchen but then heard a knock at her front door and opened it and found two men outside wearing masks.
They claimed they were under-cover officers investigating a man who had been stealing, though did not show her any identification.
They asked if they could come in to check the house which she allowed and they went into her living room. One asked her if she could show him the back garden and when they came back in his accomplice, Delaney, asked if she was going to go upstairs to check her money.
Mr Baxter said she told him, “it was with me in the living room in a plastic bag and he asked if he could see it. I showed him and he grabbed a black purse from it and they both ran out of the house.”
The purse contained £500 and after dialling 999 the shocked pensioner noticed that another purse, containing £100, had been stolen from her handbag.
When she went upstairs she found that Delaney had been up there as cupboards and drawers were left open and a few pounds had been stolen from another purse. A Tetley tea tin had also been moved and this was found by police to have his fingerprint on which led to his arrest in September.
Delaney, 35, of Oil Street, Liverpool city centre, has 13 previous convictions including dishonesty and was the subject of a community order for fraud at the time of the offence.
His lawyer Khadim Al’Hassan said that the defendant had gone off the rails after the death of his brother and turned to alcohol. “It is only while in prison that he has now realised how far he has fallen from where he was.”
He had got involved with others and made “an error of judgement. He is now able to see the error of his ways.”