Hitchin woman sentenced for burglary after posing as vulnerable 90-year-old’s carer

Tracey Southgate, 50 of Maytrees, Hitchin, was sentenced at St Albans Crown Court on Friday, January

Tracey Southgate, 50 of Maytrees, Hitchin, was sentenced at St Albans Crown Court on Friday, January 31. Picture: Herts Police - Credit: Archant

A Hitchin woman has been sentenced to three years and nine months in prison after pretending to be a vulnerable man’s carer and committing theft and burglary in his home.

Tracey Southgate, 50 of Maytrees in Hitchin, appeared at St Albans Crown Court on Friday last week where she pleaded guilty to one count of theft and one count of burglary.

The court heard how on October 10 last year, Southgate entered the address of a 90-year-old man's home in Hitchin - where she pretended to be his new carer.

When challenged by the victim, Southgate said she would get her identification from the car, but left the address and never returned. The victim later found that the key to his back door had been stolen and the chain had been removed.

During sentencing, the judge said: "You tricked a 90-year-old man and you pretended to be his carer.

READ MORE: Woman charged in connection with Hitchin distraction burglary

"You targeted him because of his vulnerability. I have no doubt that it was your intention to return and do a more complete job of stealing from him."

Det Con Michael Hardiman, who investigated the case, said: "This was a despicable crime on an extremely vulnerable victim.

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"Southgate took advantage of an elderly male, who has dementia, and stole the key to his property with the intention of later returning to steal from him.

"I hope she uses her time in prison to reflect on her actions, and to think about the extreme distress she caused the victim.

"I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the public for their help with our appeals for information following the incident, as it enabled us to identify Southgate as the suspect.

"Your assistance is invaluable to us - whether you're simply liking and sharing our appeals, or contacting us with information that you think could assist our investigation, we are always grateful for your support."

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