Jail for trio who preyed on OAPs in Hatfield

THREE men who carried out seven distraction burglaries in one day across Hertfordshire – including three in Hatfield – have been jailed for a total of 13 years.

Brothers John and Patrick Cawley, 48 and 51, both from Kingsgate Place, London and David Brown, 27, of no fixed abode, were sentenced at St Albans Crown Court on Friday.

The heartless burglars preyed on elderly victim’s, all of whom were in their 70s and 80s, who were tricked into letting the men in after they claimed to be investigating a water leak.

Victim’s living in two houses in Wood Common and one in Burfield Close were targeted.

Other pensioners conned by the distraction burglars lived in St Albans, London Colney and Kings Langley.


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The “callous” threesome were arrested on December 6, 2008.

In March 2009 David Brown pleaded guilty to conspiracy to burgle and in April 2009 John Cawley pleaded guilty to the same charge.

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Patrick Cawley was found guilty after a trial in December 2009.

John Cawley and David Brown both received sentences of four and a half years and Patrick Cawley received a four-year sentence.

Detective constable Guy Reynolds said: “These are callous and cowardly crimes where vulnerable victims are targeted.

“These three men conned their way into these victims’ homes by claiming to be investigating a water leak.

“This is one of the most common tricks used by distraction burglars and I would urge anyone faced with a caller they believe is suspicious not to let them into your home and to call police immediately.”

He added: “During sentencing, the judge stated these types of crime are ‘mean and deliberate’ and I hope these sentences will send out a message and act as a deterrent against such crimes.”

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