23 October 2018   |  Last Updated 22-04-2015 02:05

      Fraudster jailed in Manchester Crown Court after burglaries targeting the elderly in Salford

      A fraudster was jailed at Manchester Crown Court on Thursday following a string of incidents in Salford in which elderly people were targeted.

      Manchester Crown Court

      Martin Lawrence, 27, was caught using DNA from a bottle of beer, which he had left at a crime scene.

      He pleaded guilty to three counts each of burglary and fraud, and one count each of robbery and attempted theft receiving five years and four months.

      Martin Lawrence

      In one incident in late 2013, Lawrence repeatedly targeted a man in his late 90s.

      Lawrence went to the man’s home claiming to be from a paving company. The man told Lawrence he was not interested, but

      Lawrence returned later and repeatedly called the victim managing to persuade the man to give him a large amount of cash.

      Lawrence returned a few days later asking for more money and for a drink, when the man went to make him one, Lawrence went upstairs to root through his draws. The man later found his wallet had been stolen and phoned the police.

      Lawrence then returned to the man’s house in February and March 2014, but the man phoned the police.

      Lawrence, in another incident, targeted a 92-year-old man on Bolton Road in Salford in 2014. He pretended to be a charity collector with the man donating £5, but Lawrence also stole £130 and credit card from the man’s wallet.

      Lawrence also claimed to be a police officer at another address in Salford in December 2014. He asked a 54-year-old man if he could enter his house to talk about a recent crime. When the man asked to see his ID, a struggle ensued with Lawrence managing to steal the man’s wallet.

      Police Constable, Michelle Ingham, said: “It is difficult to convey the devastating impact these cruel acts have had on these two victims. Lawrence repeatedly targeted two vulnerable elderly men in the sanctity of their own homes, a place where they should feel safe and where they and their families had worked hard to ensure these two men could still enjoy a high level of independence in their old age.

      “As a direct result of what happened here, one of these men has had to move out of his family home, where until this point he had lived happily, and into residential care, which is simply heart-wrenching for both him and his family.

      “I hope that today’s sentencing acts as a warning to others who may think they can get away with targeting more vulnerable members in our society - this sort of heinous crime is one that we take extremely seriously and we will do everything in our power to trace those responsible and put them behind bars for their actions.”

      By Joe Wilkinson