Bernard McDonagh described as a “menace to elderly people”

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A serial burglar described as a “menace to elderly people” has been jailed for eight years after being charged in connection with over 30 burglaries – 11 of them in Kent.

Bernard McDonagh, 48, no address given, pleaded guilty to 32 offences at St Albans Crown Court.

A total of 11 burglaries were carried out in Kent while other offences took place in London, Hampshire, Sussex, Hertfordshire, Staffordshire and the West Midlands.

McDonagh was arrested after being investigated by detectives at the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate who worked closely with officers from other forces on the case.

Detectives found that McDonagh often posed as an employee of a utility company targeting the elderly or vulnerable people and distracting his victims before leaving with valuables such as jewellery and cash.

His Honour Judge Bright QC told McDonagh: “You are a serious menace to elderly persons in society and despite previous prison sentences, you have not been deterred from continuing to prey on elderly people upon release from prison.

“I have read the victim impact statements and the devastating effect is plain for all to see and this is also with regard to the many items of hugely sentimental value that were stolen.”

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