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Addict robbed OAP of dead wife's jewels

PUBLISHED: 15:34 11 February 2009 | UPDATED: 09:32 12 August 2010

A ROBBER who forced his way into an 88-year-old man s home and stole jewellery has been jailed for nine years. James McDonagh, 26, of Clyde Road,

A ROBBER who forced his way into an 88-year-old man's home and stole jewellery has been jailed for nine years.

James McDonagh, 26, of Clyde Road, Addiscombe, raided the Shortlands home of John Taylor and pushed him down on the bed when he tried to stop him.

Half-an-hour later, when confronted by police at Shortlands railway station, McDonagh claimed he found the stolen goods in the street.

Mr Taylor said he had returned home after shopping on October 29 last year when there was a ring at the front door.

He opened it and a young man said: "Do you know police were at your house this morning. They probably made a mess and turned it over. I'll come in and check."

Mr Taylor said: "I told him there was no need but he went straight past me and started up the stairs. He went into the back bedroom. I followed him and he pushed me on to the bed and lay across me and asked 'Where do you keep your money?'

"I said 'I'm not telling you' and he replied 'It would be best if you did.'

"I felt that I had to tell him. I got off the bed and got the key to the safe and gave it to him. He opened the safe."

Mr Taylor pleaded with him not to take anything but he helped himself to several items, including things which had belonged to his late wife, and he ran off.

Judge Simon Pratt told heroin addict McDonagh, whose string of previous convictions include three robberies: "I am sure that when Mr Taylor went into his house with his shopping, you saw him as a target and then proceeded to rob him.

"Using some force on him, you were able to get out of his safe a jewellery box and items of enormous sentimental value to him - items belonging to his deceased wife.

"You invaded not only the privacy but also the safety of an elderly, vulnerable man. You clearly targeted him and saw the opportunity to get money to purchase more drugs.

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