By Lily Houston
A handyman has been jailed for stealing from a 101 year old woman in Chatham.
Michael Ward, 66, of Defiant Close, Chatham, was sentenced on Tuesday 17 January 2017 after pleading guilty to four counts of theft and one charge of burglary.
He was sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court to 10 months in prison after the court heard how Ward stole jewellery worth around £2,000 from the victim in Chatham over two years. Between January 2013 and August 2015 he gradually stole the jewellery from her when he came to her house to complete jobs for her as a handyman.
He also stole from another elderly couple in the area when he would look after their pet cat while they went on holiday. On three separate occasions over a year, the couple noticed that when they returned, Euros had gone missing from their home.
Investigating officer, Detective Constable, Ian Mather of Kent Police said: “Ward used his position of trust to target elderly vulnerable victims and did so over a long period of time, not once stopping to think about the impact of his behaviour.
“I’d like to praise the victims for their courage and tenacity in reporting this crime and helping to bring him to justice.”
When the couple discussed the missing money with their neighbor and realised they both had missing items, they suspected Ward and decided to set a trap. They left money out and told Ward they were going on holiday again. During the four days the couple were away, the money was stolen.
Michael Ward was charged in December 2015 and having pleaded not guilty was due to stand trial on Tuesday 17 January 2017 before changing his plea at the beginning of the trial.