Brendan Anthony Cawley had a long record and had only been released five months earlier from a jail sentence imposed for robbing an 89-year-old woman in her property.
Leeds Crown Court heard on September 19 Cawley knocked on the door of an 81-year-old woman in Rothwell and told her he had seen some kids “messing about” at the back of her ground floor flat.
He asked her to go round and look with him to see what they had been doing. Carmel Pearson, prosecuting, said the pensioner told Cawley she had mobility problems but he offered to walk slowly with her.
When they got to the rear there was no sign of anybody. He told her to wait there while he went to look if they were still around. When he did not return she realised she had left her door ajar and went back into her home to discover he had stolen her handbag containing her purse with £310 inside and her bank cards.
Cawley was later arrested thanks to a witness who saw him and CCTV footage.
Alex Boyd representing Cawley said his offending stemmed from his heroin addiction. The 47-year-old, of Belle Isle Circus, Belle Isle, admitted the burglary and was jailed for four and a half years.
Sentencing him Judge Geoffrey Marson QC said: “This was a particularly mean and nasty offence, no doubt the consequences will live very long with this 81-year-old lady.”
Detective Inspector Neil Thompson, of Leeds District Crime Team, said: “Cawley is a despicable individual who has a long criminal history of targeting the elderly to trick his way into their homes to steal from them.”