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28 April 2014, 06:00
An 85 year-old dementia sufferer was attacked and robbed in his own home by a drunken neighbour.
William Regan lives s helped by Daniel McDonald's father, Kevin McDonald, who regularly checks on him and helps manages his finances.
But 22 year-old Daniel - who also helped on occasions disguised himself on the 5th of March - and let himself in to the pensioner's home.
St Albans Crown Court heard Mr Regan, who is hard of hearing, was watching television with his headphones on when McDonald appeared wearing a towel or sheet over his head to avoid being recognised on Mr Regan's CCTV.
A struggle broke out in the lounge, with McDonald striking the elderly man and demanding his wallet. When the pensioner tried to flee into the street, McDonald blocked his way.
Mr Regan eventually went upstairs and gave McDonald his wallet, which contained £40.
The police were called and, despite his efforts of disguise, were able to identify McDonald from the CCTV through the other clothing he was wearing.
McDonald, of Spring Glen, Hatfield, pleaded guilty to robbery. He had 10 previous convictions for 15 offences, including one for robbery.
Defence barrister Alex Britton said McDonald was, at the time, working as a chef in Hitchin. On the day of the robbery he said he was drunk. He had moved away to Beaconsfield in 2013 but returned to the area at the end of last year and had returned to using cocaine and alcohol after the death of his mother. He said he was remorseful and while in custody had been to counselling for alcoholism and bereavement. He asked for credit for his guilty plea at the first opportunity.
Jailing him for 3 and a half years, Judge Andrew Bright QC told McDonald: "This was a truly awful crime. It was a shocking breach of trust. I am glad you find it difficult to live with yourself."