Addict Jailed Over Pensioner Knife Raid

A drug addict was caught on camera as she terrorised a 90-year-old Hampshire woman with a knife in a "wicked'' robbery, police said.

Pensioner Margaret Killeen, wrapped in just a towel, was tied up and threatened when she answered the door of her flat in Gosport to Claire Taylor on October 11 last year.

The 37-year-old, who had previously befriended her elderly victim, had attempted to disguise her appearance with a hooded top and dark glasses. But the robbery was caught on a camera installed by police and, after she was arrested and brought to court, Taylor pleaded guilty to a charge of aggravated burglary.

Portsmouth Crown Court heard that Taylor, who has a history of violent assaults, had previously been given money by Mrs Killeen, who suffers from dementia, to fund her drug habit. But after the widow's family found out about this, her daughter intervened and informed police, who installed the camera in her home.

The camera captured the "terrifying'' robbery in which the great-grandmother was tied up for half an hour while Taylor threatened her and stole her jewellery, wedding and engagement rings and money from her purse.

Judge Ian Pearson imposed an indeterminate sentence of imprisonment for public protection and said Taylor would not be considered for parole for at least three years and 265 days.

Speaking outside court, Detective Constable Pete Lavin, of Hampshire Police, said: "Claire Taylor has shown no remorse. It's a wicked and premeditated attack on an elderly, frail lady of 90 years of age in her own home. One can only begin to imagine how terrified she must have been to be confronted by somebody with a knife.''

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