‘Career criminal’ who targeted Radcliffe properties jailed

A CARRIRE criminal who targeted a nursing home and property in Radcliffe has been jailed.

Minshull Street Crown Court heard Stuart Whittle hit several times in a short space of time.

He first approached Rose Court Care Home in Radcliffe where he was seen on camera trying to put a code in the door to gain entry.

Whittle was then spotted rummaging through objects in a room, but told a co-worker that he was visiting his mother.

This was quickly established as a lie and he was unrelated to the 93-year-old who lived there and said he saw him.

The employee who had seen the camera found it elsewhere in the property and was told to leave.

On that occasion, Whittle got away with nothing, but a short time later he struck a widow’s home, stealing a wedding ring and seal from the owner’s deceased husband.

Lisa Boocock, the prosecutor, said: “She says that ‘it bothers me that objects of sentimental value have been stolen’.

“She wants the defendant to explain why he felt the need to break into her house to steal personal items.”

Thanks to Blood of Whittle’s at the scene, the police were able to identify him as the man responsible.

He struck again at two properties on Meadowcroft in Radcliffe.

In the first, he entered the house where a man lived with his elderly mother and made off with money and a wallet.

On the second, he was challenged and said he thought he saw a burglar and was concerned, but when the resident said he had a camera that could verify the events, he ran away.

Whittle appeared in court to be convicted after admitting four counts of burglary in January 2020.

The court heard that Whittle, not mentioned above, had an extensive criminal record for burglaries and was sentenced to five years and nine months in prison last February for burglary and assault.

Nick Ross, on the defensive, said Whittle was undergoing rehabilitation in prison.

He added: “There is a career criminal background, his first appearance in court came at the age of 13, it is quite a remarkable record.

“It wasn’t exactly cleverly planned, but as a professional criminal these are serious violations.”

Judge John Edwards imposed a sentence and said some people never feel the same way at home after a break-in.

He said: “These are people whose houses you have defiled.

“Burglary is a terrible ordeal, not just from the standpoint of dealing with insurance companies and the like, it’s the knowledge that someone has been in your house.

“Some people never feel the same in their home.”

He added that Whittle was in danger of “just being institutionalized” because he was “so used to detention” due to repeated jail terms.

He sentenced Whittle to four and a half years.

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