Hatfield burglar stripped off to embarrass victim

PUBLISHED: 11:17 12 March 2018

Gemma Andrews. Picture: Police.

Gemma Andrews. Picture: Police.


A drug addict has been sent to prison for 30 months for burgling a 72-year-old man’s home in Hatfield.

In 2016, Gemma Andrews, now 28, barged into the Birchwood Close house at 4.45am and began pushing the occupant towards his bedroom and grabbed his phone.

She began undressing herself so his neighbours could see, to which Judge Jonathan Carroll said: “You were, in effect, posing as a sex worker and trying to put him in a position where he would give into you to secure your silence from anybody who could have seen what was going on.”

St Albans Crown Court heard Andrews left the address, only to return and try to re-enter the property.

She left before the police arrived, but was captured on CCTV and was arrested on January 31, 2017.

Toby Long, for the prosecution, said: “The victim was a vulnerable 72-year-old man and he was targeted because he was easy prey.”

Andrews pleaded guilty to burglary on May 22 last year, after which it was revealed she had a string of 12 previous convictions for shoplifting and failure to attend drug rehabilitation, but none for burglary.

Her defence lawyer Shelley Griffith said: “She has mental health conditions which, combined with her drug use, lead her to make rash decisions without considering the consequences and that is certainly what has happened.”

Andrews had been on a rehabilitation course, but had relapsed because she believed she was not getting enough support.

She was clean when she was raising her children, whom she has visitation rights over.

Judge Carroll dismissed the idea the Choices or Consequences course Andrews attended had not given her enough support, saying: “It effectively gave you a Rolls-Royce service, more than previous drug abusers have had.

“You committed this offence because of an entrenched drug addiction and your record demonstrates someone who is stealing whatever you can get to fund your drug use.

“You are not just a risk to others, but to yourself. Nothing more can be done for you.

“As a result, a custodial sentence is absolutely inevitable.”

He sentenced Andrews, whose last known address was Stanley Drive, Hatfield, to 30 months in prison.

She will be released after half of that on licence and was given credit for a curfew and time served.

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