A CONMAN was convicted of burglary after his 85-year-old victim gave evidence against him – from the comfort of her home.
Former window cleaner Wayne Johnson, 32, claimed he was a council worker when he turned up at the pensioner’s home and stole £50 after being allowed inside.
The victim told jurors, via videolink set up at her Hebburn home and linked to Newcastle Crown Court, how the raid left her frightened and in tears.
Jurors could watch the woman giving evidence from her armchair.
The court heard Johnson had turned up at the woman’s door, claiming he was there to inspect damp on December 3 last year.
She said: “He went upstairs and had a look and said there was dampness on the wall, which there wasn’t.
“He came downstairs again and came into the living room. I stayed downstairs.
“Downstairs, he looked at the front wall, came along to the back, held the curtain back and said there was dampness on there. I said there was no dampness.”
The pensioner said the conman told her workers would be back that afternoon, but nobody showed up.
It was after he had left her home she realised £50 she had kept in her cabinet to pay a bill was gone.
She told the court: “I phoned my neighbour but she was out and her husband answered the phone.
“I was crying and I told him what had happened.
“I was frightened. I was frightened because there was no dampness.
“I phoned the council. I told the council what had happened and they told me to contact the police, which I did.”
Johnson admitted to police he was at the house, where he used to clean windows, but said he had only gone to ask the pensioner if she wanted guttering work done.
He denied taking any money.
Jurors found Johnson, of Australia Grove, South Shields, guilty of burglary.
He will be sentenced at a later date and was given bail in the meantime.
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