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A burglar who held a pillow over the face of an elderly woman while she was house-sitting a property for a friend has been jailed.
Martin McGinley 30, of Smallbrook Walk, Crewe, appeared at Chester Crown Court on 20 December where he was sentenced to 38 months imprisonment after pleading guilty.
He was also handed a restraining order against the victims and ordered to pay a surcharge of £228.
The court heard how on 13 September 2022, an 82-year-old woman was house sitting an address in Wistaston when there was a knock in the door.
She opened the door and spoke with a man who was asking after the owner. She informed him that he wasn’t home and asked who she should say called. The man said ‘Martin’ and then left.
Around 30 minutes later, he returned but said that he had confirmation from the homeowner that he could borrow a spanner from the property.
He walked inside the property, closing the door behind before pushing the woman towards the bedroom.
McGinley then forced a pillow over the woman’s face and she fought back, attempting to shout for help but McGinley put his hand over her mouth.
As he did this, he searched through drawers and the wardrobe, putting items into a Nike rucksack he was carrying.
McGinley told the woman he wouldn’t hurt her but to not call the police and then left.
The woman rang the owner of the house who then reported the incident to police.
Officers quickly attended and managed to recover the CCTV footage from the address which clearly depicted McGinley attending and leaving the address.
In the early hours of 14 September, police attended McGinley’s address and arrested him on suspicion of burglary.
The clothing he was wearing in the CCTV, along with the rucksack, were seized from his property. He was subsequently charged.
Detective Constable Vicki Greenhoff said: “The elderly victim was left extremely distressed following the ordeal she had to endure at the hands of McGinley.
“He showed no remorse to the victim or the homeowner and was only thinking of his own selfish gain.
“I welcome the sentence handed down by the courts and hope that with McGinley behind bars, the victim can begin to move on after this horrendous incident.
“We will continue to do all we can to tackle burglary and will not stop targeting those who think they can get away with this type of crime.”
Anyone who wants to report an incident of burglary can do so by visiting the Cheshire Police website or call 101.
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