Burglar who conned his way into 91-year-old Leeds woman's home is jailed

A BURGLAR who conned his way in to a vulnerable 91-year-old Leeds woman's home and stole her purse containing cash and bank cards has been jailed for more than two years.

Paul Yearby
Paul Yearby

A Leeds Crown Court judge told 55-year-old Paul Yearby he had taken "wicked advantage" by lying his way into the pensioner's home in the Roundhay area of Leeds before stealing her property on October 13 last year.

Prosecutor, Laura McBride said the pensioner, who uses a wheelchair, allowed Yearby into her home after he claimed he was collecting equipment a decorator had left behind earlier that day.

The court was told convicted armed robber Yearby, of Monkswood Avenue, Seacroft, had been doing gardening work at a neighbouring house and was challenged by a decorator working at the pensioner's home when he approached her property.

Ms McBride said Yearby asked if the pensioner needed any gardening work doing and left when he was told she already had a gardener.

The court heard that later that day - after the decorator had left - Yearby knocked on the pensioner's door and said he had come to collect a plumb line left behind by a handyman.

Ms McBride said the pensioner believed he was referring to the genuine decorator and allowed him in the house.

Yearby looked in all the rooms before stealing the pensioner's purse containing bank cards and bag containing around £68 in cash.

Ms McBride said Yearby has 19 previous convictions for 51 offences, including fraud and shoplifting.

In 1997 he was jailed for 16 years for armed robbery.

Mitigating, James Lake said Yearby, who admitted burglary, had been doing gardening work at a neighbour's property and left an invoice including his name, address and phone number.

Mr Lake added: "There was no attempt to avoid detection. There was a trail leading right to his door."

Jailing Yearby for two-years-and-one-month, The Recorder of Leeds, Judge Peter Collier QC told him: "You took wicked advantage of her."