A Cranbrook burglar who preyed upon a 91-year-old man and stole money from his home has been jailed.

Clifford Vincent (pictured below) targeted the vulnerable victim by knocking on his door and then forcing his way inside.

Clifford Vincent

Vincent entered the house in Hartley, Cranbrook on 7 June 2022.

He told the victim, who had mobility issues and required help from carers on a daily basis, that he knew him and asked how he was. Vincent then started looking around the property and entering areas including his bedroom.

He left having stolen around £15 which had been on a mantelpiece in a living room.

Patrols arrested Vincent around a month later, after he was stopped as he was driving in Sevenoaks.

During a police interview he accepted he had entered the victim’s address but claimed he had been knocking on the doors of several homes, to enquire about a van that was parked nearby and for sale.

When quizzed about entering a bedroom, Vincent claimed he was simply asking if the man needed help with anything.

Vincent, 48, from Smarden, Ashford was charged with burglary and pleaded not guilty at Maidstone Crown Court.

A trial took place which resulted in him being convicted by unanimous verdict.

On Friday 19 January 2024, Vincent was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment.

Detective Constable Josh Littley, of the Kent Crime Squad, said:

‘Vincent deliberately preyed on an elderly man knowing he was vulnerable and who he assumed would be an easy target.

‘Crimes such as these can have a devastating impact on victims’ confidence and ability to trust, and criminals like Vincent simply don’t care about the profound distress their actions cause.

‘Had we not been able to identify him early on in our investigation, there is little doubt he would have sought to inflict further misery and despair upon other victims.’

By Ed

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