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23 February 2011, 12:36 | Updated: 7 March 2011, 16:27
A callous pair of tricksters who carried out a string of burglaries including a distraction burglary at the home of a lady in her early 80s have both been sentenced to a combined total of almost 9 years imprisonment.
Mark Taylor, 21 and Kathleen Cawley, 23, carried out a string of burglaries and thefts across three counties.
Taylor of no fixed abode and Cawley, of Kings Close in Hendon, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to burgle at St Albans Crown Court.
Taylor was sentenced to 4 years and 10 months imprisonment Cawley was sentenced to 4 years imprisonment.
The pair were responsible for four distraction burglaries occurring in Hatfield, High Wycombe, Kidlington and Oxford, three thefts occurring in Bicester, Golders Green and Wheatley and 21 burglaries in St Albans, Rickmansworth, Aldenham, Maidenhead, Kidlington, Chinnor, Bicester and Oxford.
Judge John Plumstead described the crimes as ‘exceedingly serious’.
He referred to a distraction burglary at the home of a lady in her early 80s in Hatfield on 30 October 2009 where Kathleen asked for water for her ‘baby’ as ‘spectacularly callous’.
DC Ben Dransfield and his colleague DC Rachael Gallagher from Operation Manhunt investigated the series of crimes by the pair.
DC Dransfield said: "The investigation involved nearly 30 offences committed by two people on a drug-fuelled rampage across three counties, leaving a trail of terror behind them.
"It took an enormous amount of work to detangle this web and eventually put it forward to the Crown for the case to be heard. We are delighted at this result and that these two are out of the public domain for this long, and their sentences serve as a severe warning to anyone involved in crime."