Wire-cutting serial burglar sentenced to 14 years after preying on the elderly

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A SERIAL burglar who hog-tied a pensioner and threatened to stab him has started a 14-year jail sentence.

Anthony Ward’s hallmark was to cut the electricity supplies to the homes of the elderly people he burgled in Hull.

One of his victims, 66-year-old David May, woke up and thought there had been a power cut.

When he went downstairs in his pyjamas to check what was wrong, he was pounced on from behind.

He told Hull Crown Court how a pair of scissors were held to his throat and his wrists, ankles and thumbs bound with string, telephone wire and cord from his blinds. A cushion and a dining chair was placed over his head, before he was trussed up further with his own leather belt.

He said: “I was in a sort of headlock and was told to stop struggling or he would stab me. I thought ‘with what?’ and then I looked down and there was a pair of scissors held to my throat. I was shocked, the adrenalin was going through the roof, I was still half asleep

“I am still nervous about it now. My ankles were tied and then my ankles were tied to my wrists. It was done very quickly. He must have heard me moving around upstairs. He must have had them prepared.”

Two weeks later Ward, 36, who at the time of the offences lived in Chester Avenue, targeted the home of an 84-year-old woman in County Road North, who also woke to find her power lines cut – which meant that the “lifeline” which she would use in case of emergency would not work.

He stole a blood testing meter, cash and bank cards, later withdrawing £250 from her account.

A third victim, an 82-year-old woman, was also asleep. Prosecutor Nadim Bashir said: “The Crown’s case is that these were planned and targeted burglaries. They were targeted because the victims were elderly, a fact the Crown says makes them vulnerable, and, of course, easy targets.”

Ward, who was convicted by the jury of robbery, false imprisonment, burglary and theft, was told by Judge Michael Mettyear he had a “truly terrible” record of previous convictions.

The Judge said the public deserved a “long break” from Ward.

He said: “It is absolutely disgraceful conduct, you should be ashamed of yourself.

“David May went through a horrifying and terrifying experience,” he added.