Two burglars raided woman's home while she had epileptic fit
Published 15/08/2014 | 18:38
Two burglars have been jailed after they raided an epileptic woman's home while she lay fitting on the ground.
Louise Boyce and James Thomas stole Kayleigh Nicholas' flat keys while she lay shaking on the ground outside her home in Morriston, Swansea.
Boyce, 25, of Cwmrhydyceirw, and Thomas, 18, from Clase, befriended their 24-year-old victim the night before - and targeted her because of her vulnerable state.
After being led to her home by Boyce, Ms Nicholas suffered a seizure. As she came round, she saw Thomas carrying her television out of her flat.
Judge Paul Thomas said there would be public revulsion at the offence.
He said: "However this is dressed up, whatever words are used to describe it, this was a despicable offence. So serious, in my view, that the public revulsion in doing what you did can only be met by an immediate custodial sentence.
"You approached a young lady and fed her some lies to get her to trust you. It must have been clear to you both she was very vulnerable due to her limitations.
"Then, incredibly, as she was having an epileptic fit, instead of sending medical help for you, you took the opportunity to enter her flat and steal her property.
"She was clearly ill but you took advantage of that."
Swansea Crown Court heard that at 11pm on June 10, Ms Nicholas was carrying her flat keys in her hand as she arrived home from the bus stop.
She was approached by Boyce and then persuaded to go with her - before suffering a fit.
Prosecuting barrister Rhys ab Owen Thomas said the victim remembered holding her keys as she fell to the floor.
After coming round Ms Nicholas tried to stand up - but Boyce and Thomas ran away.
When she entered her home, she discovered her television and laptop had both been stolen along with her purse.
Police later caught up with the two culprits - with Boyce saying Thomas had been trying to sell the stolen TV "all day".
Angela Ricciardi, defending Boyce, said her client was under the influence of drugs when she committed this offence.
"She has admitted her life was in chaos at the time of this offence. She realises the severity of her behaviour and realises she is going to receive a custodial sentence."
And Andrew Evans, for Thomas, said his client was only 18 and had so far lacked maturity to make the right decisions.
But he asked for Judge Paul Thomas not to jail him but to allow him to work with the probation service.
"In the last two years he has realised his behaviour has consequences."
The pair both pleaded guilty to burglary.
Boyce, 25, from Penrhyn Court in Cwmrhydyceirw, was also being sentenced for theft of goods from Lidl in Parc Tawe and breaching suspended sentence orders. She had previously stolen her own grandfather's mobile phone, damaged a shop window and stolen a box of chocolates.
Thomas, from Beech Close in Clase, was also being sentenced after admitting stealing £20 from a bingo hall.
They were both given sentences of 18 months. Thomas will serve his in a Young Offender Institution.