A burglar twice convicted of killing a Leeds pensioner, has been jailed for four years after a court heard he re-offended while on licence from his prison term.
Mark Wayne Fitzgerald was first found guilty by a jury in 2003 of the manslaughter of Lily Myers and burglary at her home in Sandmoor Close, Alwoodley, but three years later the Court of Appeal quashed the conviction and ordered a retrial.
That was held in 2007 when another Leeds Crown Court jury again convicted him of her manslaughter for which he was ultimately sentenced to seven years with 12 years concurrent for burglaries.
Mrs Myers had only just turned 92 when she died in 2002 some three weeks after she was left with a broken collarbone and fractured vertabra in her neck following a confrontation with Fitzgerald found stealing a drawer containing her jewellery.
Richard Smith, prosecuting, told the same court yesterday on November 16 last year neighbours of a 91-year-old pensioner living with her son in Harrogate Road, Leeds alerted police after a man was seen looking round outside the house before he climbed on to a wheelie bin and up a chimney stack towards an open bathroom window.
Officers arrested Fitzgerald nearby because he matched the description given.
Helen Cousins, representing Fitzgerald, said he had only put his upper body inside before realising the house was occupied and leaving.
He had been keeping out of trouble and had gone there looking for odd jobs to do. “He finds it difficult now to elucidate what was in his mind and why he risked all he had achieved in the two years since his release.”
Jailing Fitzgerald, 43, of Nowell Parade, Harehills, who admitted burglary with intent, Judge Neil Clark said while there was no confrontation in the current case he of all people knew the impact of such crime.