Teen awaits sentence for burgling vulnerable woman's home

Lisa Bastiani will have to wait until December next year for her trial at Ipswich Crown Court Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Ipswich Crown Court - Credit: Charlotte Bond

A teenager who burgled the home of a vulnerable woman after she allowed him to use the toilet will be sentenced in April.

Lewis Falco appeared before Ipswich Crown Court, via video link from Norwich prison, on Tuesday. 

The 19-year-old had already pleaded guilty to burglary, theft and three counts of fraud by false representation at an earlier magistrates' court hearing in August. 

Falco, formerly of of Bridge End Road, Red Lodge, stole a purse belonging to a woman in her 70s, who was recovering from a brain injury and self-isolating alone at home in Barrow, near Bury St Edmunds, on the evening of August 19 last year.

The court heard how Falco had called at the property at about 5.30pm and offered to cut the hedge.

Prosecutor Stephen Mather said: "He attended without invitation and offered to carry out gardening work. 

"She didn't want any done, but he persisted, becoming agitated and jumpy."

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Mr Mather said the victim felt sorry for Falco, and let him inside to use the toilet and have a glass of water, but later realised her purse had gone missing from the kitchen table.

Falco was subsequently identified via a fingerprint found on the glass, and CCTV from a local garage and convenience store, where the stolen card was used on three occasions.

Joanne Eley, mitigating, said Falco thought he had been recruited by others to carry out gardening work in the general vicinity.

She added: "He was clearly exploited by those more sophisticated, and pressured into committing this burglary.

"He has various limitations in relation to personal ability."

Miss Eley said a pre-sentence report had highlighted the need for a forensic psychological assessment before any community based penalty could be considered for recommendation by the probation service.

She asked for the case to be adjourned for a psychological report to be completed.

Recorder Dijen Basu QC adjourned sentencing until April 19.

Falco was remanded in custody until his next appearance at court.

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