Burglar filmed demanding dementia patient hand over his wallet walks free from court

·3-min read
Carol Lewis captured on camera trying to get the wallet of a dementia-hit grandfather. (SWNS)
Carol Lewis captured on camera trying to get the wallet of a dementia-hit grandfather. (SWNS)

A family who caught a burglar on camera demanding their dementia-hit grandfather hand over his wallet have criticised a judge for sparing her from jail.

Carol Lewis, 50, tricked her way into the 88-year-old’s flat in Ladywood, Birmingham, after knocking on his door at 5am asking to borrow milk and sugar on 26 October last year.

Footage from a camera installed by the victim’s family captured Lewis making small-talk before ordering him to give her money.

His family had set up the camera after hundreds of pounds had been stolen during a similar scam.

Read: County lines drug gang jailed for 40 years after taxi driver’s camera records conversations

The clip shows Lewis complaining about the cold weather before demanding his wallet.

The victim, who was wearing just a T-shirt and boxer shorts, can be heard telling her: "I don't know where it is, there's nothing in it."

He then desperately tries to find the wallet while she follows him around his home and rifles through his jacket.

Lewis was spared jail. (SWNS)
Lewis was spared jail. (SWNS)

Lewis left empty-handed but was arrested by West Midlands Police when she tried to burgle his home at 6am just six days later.

She admitted two counts of burglary and another of fraud relating to a separate incident with another vulnerable man when she appeared at Birmingham Crown Court on 4 May.

She was handed an 18-month prison term, suspended for two years and was ordered to take part in a 15-day rehabilitation activity requirement order.

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But the victim’s family have blasted the sentence, calling it "unbelievably lenient".

His granddaughter Jade Wardle, 28, said watching the footage "made me sick to my stomach".

"It was horrible to see her shouting at him. She was really intimidating and her tone was just horrible and cruel," Wardle added. 

The victim, who has 15 grandchildren, suffers from high blood pressure and was rushed to hospital on the same day Lewis walked free from court.

Wardle said she was "shocked" by the sentence. 

The victims family blasted the sentence as Lewis walked free. (SWNS)
The victim's family blasted the sentence as Lewis walked free from court. (SWNS)

"She's still out there and could easily do this again," she said. "It just makes me really sad.

"The sentence is just so unbelievably lenient. This woman is a thief and showed absolutely no remorse. 

"This woman should have been sent to prison to keep people like my granddad safe."

Under Sentencing Council guidelines, burglary offences are punishable by one to 13 years in custody, depending on the seriousness of the crime.

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However, custodial sentences can be suspended for less serious offences, meaning the defendant stays out of jail on condition they remain out of trouble and abide by any requirements set by the judge.

The judge would have had to have deemed Lewis' crime as one which involved "lower culpability" and "lesser harm" to the victim to place it in the lower end of the custodial sentencing range.

The fact that Lewis ultimately did not steal anything would also have been considered a factor that reduced the seriousness of the crime. 

Watch: Police find burglar sleeping at crime scene next to half-eaten cheesecake

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