Mansfield burglar who preyed on pensioner jailed for 65 months
A veteran ‘fourth strike’ burglar from Mansfield conned his way into a pensioner's home before snatching her handbag and running off, a court was told.
Kevin Gamble, 61, posed as a council worker when he knocked at the front door of his 72-year-old victim's bungalow on the afternoon of February 8, this year, prosecutor Priya Bakshi said.
He showed her an ID badge, but because her eyesight was poor she could not see it properly and Gamble quickly put it away.
"She felt uneasy and kept her handbag by her walker," said Ms Bakshi.
Gamble went into the bedroom to check the windows, but returned to the kitchen and snatched her bag.
He grabbed her Samsung tablet and mobile phone from the sofa as he fled. The woman gave chase but could not catch him as she has limited mobility.
Police traced the phone via a call Gamble made at a local Costcutters, where CCTV showed him being collected by his wife.
"His victim described being angry with herself for letting herself get robbed," said Ms Bakshi. "She is now extremely cautious when there is a knock at the door."
Nottingham Crown Court was told Gamble has 22 previous convictions for 47 offences, dating back to his first four burglaries committed when he was 20 in 1979.
Since then he has committed 21 further burglaries and was jailed for eight years each in 2003 and 2007 – and received a 12-year sentence in 2013.
Chris Brewin, in mitigation, said: "It is obviously just a case of how long he is going to get. History has sadly repeated itself for Mr Gamble."
He said the defendant has written a letter setting out his ‘unfortunate early life experiences’ and the impact of his father's death on him.
When he served six of the 12-year sentence, Gamble ‘suffered terribly’ once the inmates discovered he was in for distraction burglary, Mr Brewin said. He added that Gamble briefly found a job but a false allegation led to him being dismissed.
Gamble, of Bentinck Street, Mansfield, admitted burglary on March 25.
Recorder Paul Mann QC sentenced Gamble to 65 months and told him: "You have made it a career to commit distraction burglaries, targeting vulnerable people. You are not deterred by the sentences given to you."