South Shields raider jailed after burgling home of 76-year-old cancer sufferer in the dead of night

A raider who burgled the home of a 76-year-old cancer sufferer while she was in bed has been put behind bars.
Mark FadaMark Fada
Mark Fada

Mark Fada crept into the victim's home in South Shields in the early hours of September 23 last year and took £75, along with bank cards, from her purse.

The pensioner, who had cancer and had just undergone a hip replacement, felt "sick" at the thought of a stranger being in her home and was left feeling so unsafe she may move into sheltered accommodation.

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Three weeks later, the 25-year-old serial criminal broke into another house in the town, where a couple had their three-year-old granddaughter sleeping over.

Fada, and his unknown accomplice, took the keys to a Nissan Duke as well as personal belongings from a room where one of the victims was sleeping.

The couple were left more than £1,000 out of pocket and had to change all the locks to their home.

The husband said his wife was "physically sick" because of what happened.

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Newcastle Crown Court heard that Fada had become increasingly desperate after he ‘had accrued significant drugs debts’.

The judge in the case said Fada’s offending is ‘causing misery to others’.

Fada, of Lonsdale Court, South Shields, who has a criminal record, admitted two charges of burglary.

He also pleaded guilty to three charges of fraud in relation to £76.99 worth of purchases, including scratchards, he made with the pensioner's stolen bank card.

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Fada admitted criminal damage in relation to a car he targeted and caused £400 worth of damage to on October 9.

And he pleaded guilty to handling stolen goods in relation to three iPads that had been stolen from Evans Halshaw garage in Sunderland and were found in his home.

Judge Tim Gittins sentenced him to a total of three years and three months behind bars.

The judge said the pensioner could "ill afford" the loss of her money and added: "Moreover, being the victim of such a burglary is very distressing for anyone to know someone has come into the house, all the more when it is done when the person is in and all the more when the person is as old as she was and living alone.

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"From her statement, it is clear she had a particularly distressing time. It has had a shattering effect on her independence.

"She is considering moving into sheltered accommodation as a direct result of your actions."

Judge Gittins told Fada: "You need to know and understand you are wasting your life as well as causing misery to others."

Vic Laffey, defending, said drugs are at the heart of Fada's offending.

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Mr Laffey said: "He had accrued significant drugs debts and around the time of these offences he had debts which were simply coming to a point where the pressure being placed upon him was becoming unmanageable and unbearable. He was becoming more and more desperate."

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