Pensioner robbed by woman who walked into his home in Leeds and offered to sell him some kittens

A woman robbed a vulnerable pensioner after walking into his home in Leeds and offering to sell him some kittens.

By Tony Gardner
Tuesday, 21st December 2021, 4:45 am

Leanne Clarke was locked up for 40 months over the incident in Harehills after a court heard she has previous convictions for preying upon the elderly.

Leeds Crown Court heard Clarke targeted the 69-year-old victim on May 3 this year.

Bashir Ahmed, prosecuting, said Clarke was able to walk into the house around midday as the victim had left the door unlocked.

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Leanne Clarke was jailed for 40 months at Leeds Crown Court for robbing a 69-year-old man in his own home in Harehills.

The victim was in a bed in the living room at the time.

Clarke entered the room holding a can of beer and sat beside him in an armchair.

He instantly recognised her as she had turned up at his home around three months earlier.

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Mr Ahmed said: "The defendant engaged him in a conversation in relation to the purchase of some kittens.

"At one point she suggested that he go to the bank to withdraw some money."

The victim refused to do that and Clarke suddenly lunged and grabbed a bag that was hanging from the bed frame.

The man also made a grab for his bag and there was a struggle

The prosecutor said the man tumbled face first onto the floor during the struggle.

Clarke took out his wallet from his bag and removed £60 in cash before leaving.

During the struggle Clarke spilt the beer over the victim as she dropped it to the floor.

The can was recovered from the property and forensic officers were able to obtain her DNA and fingerprints from it.

Clarke, of Scott Hall Avenue, Leeds, was arrested on November 17 this year.

She said during an interview that she could not recall committing the offence as she had taken a cocktail of drink and drugs.

The 38-year-old defendant was out of prison on licence at the time of the offence and was recalled to custody.

Clarke appeared in court via a video link from HMP New Hall.

She pleaded guilty to robbery.

Clarke has a previous conviction for burgling an elderly victim's home, as well as convictions for robbery and drug dealing.

David Hall, mitigating, said Clarke pleaded guilty to the offence at an early stage.

Sentencing, Judge Tom Bayliss QC said: "You are no stranger to the courts and no stranger to going into people's homes to steal from them.

"Sixty pounds may not be very much to some, but it is clear that it was of some importance to this man as he was desperately trying to hang onto it."