Burglar who targeted the elderly JAILED

17 Jan 2017 09:00 AM

Derek Howe [View Full Size]

A burglar who targeted vulnerable and elderly people in Gateshead has been jailed for five years.

Derek Frank David Howe, 47, who is from Brunton Grove in Fawdon was yesterday (Jan 16) sentenced to five years behind bars after being convicted by a jury of three separate burglaries in Gateshead.

Each of his victims were extremely vulnerable and elderly - aged 78, 91 and 93 - and had significant health issues.

Howe specifically targeted them because he saw them as easy targets and preyed on their vulnerability in order to get inside their homes and steal their belongings.

The three burglaries that Howe was convicted of happened on June 21, 2016, when he tricked his way into three homes in the Rowlands Gill and Winlaton and stole items including cash, purses, credit cards and personal belongings.

Following an investigation by Gateshead 24/7 response staff and the Central Area Command burglary team Howe was arrested and charged with the three offences.

Central Superintendent David Felton said: "Howe is the lowest of the low and the worst kind of burglar there is.  He looks for vulnerable and elderly people and preys on them because of their age and vulnerability and it's great to see his disgusting behaviour has landed him with a five year jail sentence. He is now off the streets and will no longer be able to cause anyone any more misery.

"The judge in this case praised DC Gillian Coulson, from the burglary team, for her 'good old fashioned police work' that led to Howe being convicted.

"I know she did a fantastic job working with the victims of these horrible crimes and ensured they were supported throughout the whole thing. Her hard work resulted in this successful prosecution coming together like a jigsaw and I want to echo the judge's praise for her."

View the full news release