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Jailed For Conning A Tadcaster Pensioner


2:53pm 20th August 2012
(Updated 3:05pm 20th August 2012)

A woman's been jailed for four years after stealing £500 from an 85 year old lady in Tadcaster.  

Former care worker, 46 year old Catherine Patricia Carnduff from Nottingham, has been sentenced for seven distraction burglaries.

The case in Tadcaster happened in Februray (2012), when the pensioner was approached by Carnduff selling low cost household goods.

Once inside her house she asked to use the upstairs toilet, but instead rifled through her bedroom furniture and had stolen the cash.

Details from North Yorkshire Police

A Nottingham woman has been jailed for four years after stealing £500 from an 85-year-old Tadcaster woman. 

Former care worker, Catherine Patricia Carnduff, 46, of Gunthorpe Drive, Nottingham was sentenced at Wolverhampton Crown Court on Friday (17th August 2012) for seven distraction burglaries.

Carnduff admitted five offences of burglary across the West Midlands and Nottinghamshire and asked for the Tadcaster offence and a further Nottingham offence to be taken into consideration.

On 10th February 2012, the Tadcaster victim was clearing snow from her car when she was approached by Carnduff and a male companion selling low cost household goods, claiming the proceeds were in aid of a charity. Although she did not need them, the victim felt obliged to buy some of the items at what appeared to be an inflated price.

Carnduff and her companion then followed the victim into her kitchen and were given a cup of tea. Carnduff then asked to use the upstairs toilet, to which the victim agreed. Once the pair had left the property, the victim discovered Carnduff had rifled through her bedroom furniture and had stolen £500.

Officers investigating the burglary contacted the national Operation Liberal who coordinate and support investigations into distraction burglaries across the country.

A link was quickly made with similar offences reported in the West Midlands and Nottinghamshire where women victims aged between 73 and 94 were targeted by Carnduff. When presented with the evidence, Carnduff made a full admission of the offence, blaming depression and a gambling habit.

Speaking after the sentencing, Detective Constable Chris Hogg of York CID, said:

“Distraction burglars cause untold misery and distress to their elderly victims, some are so upset by their experience that they do not recover.

“We welcome the sentence handed out to Carnduff. She now has ample time to reflect on the distress she has caused her elderly victims and the fear she has caused in the neighbourhood.

“Once again this demonstrates the effectiveness of Operation Liberal. There is no hiding place for distraction burglars and while we will do everything in our power to bring these offenders to justice, it’s better if the offences are prevented. To this end, we ask that everyone, including neighbours, family and friends, encourage elderly and vulnerable residents not allow anyone into their home who they do not know.

“It’s not impolite to refuse entry to people you don’t know. Genuine callers will understand and will not be offended. We also recommend that residents never keep large amounts of cash in their homes, please always put it in the bank.”

North Yorkshire Police launched a campaign earlier this year to raise awareness of distraction burglaries. A video funded by criminals’ cash shows a typical distraction burglary taking place and the subsequent effect these crimes have on their elderly victims. The force has also given out thousands of door hangers to remind householders not to answer the door to people they don’t know.

Officers working on the campaign, have been working alongside North Yorkshire care providers and the NHS to encourage elderly and vulnerable people to say no to cold callers. The simple message is “Not sure? Don’t open the door!

Link to video


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