A PROLIFIC thief raided an elderly people’s residential home, stealing the TV and ornaments from a communal lounge.

Barry Lomax had gone to visit a resident at Kenyon Rise sheltered housing complex but instead of leaving straight afterwards he planned to steal goods to pay for his drug addiction.

Bolton Crown Court heard how he sneaked into the shared lounge at the Morris Green Lane home and, once inside, damaged a window so he could lower out the room’s TV for someone in a waiting van.

William Magill, prosecuting, told how 27-year-old Lomax was a regular visitor to one of the residents at the home and turned up there just before 11pm on November 16 last year.

But then, just before midnight, CCTV on the premises showed him entering the communal TV lounge.

“A vehicle is then seen which pulls up outside the accommodation and seems to flash its headlights a number of times,” said Mr Magill.

Lomax damaged a window to open it and lowered the home’s television to the ground before walking out of the front entrance with a carrier bag containing ornaments he had also stolen.

Mr Magill added that the thief then picked up the TV, climbed over a wall and handed it over to the waiting vehicle.

The theft and damaged window were not discovered until the next morning when a support worker arrived for duty.

When arrested by police Lomax refused to answer questions but subsequently pleaded guilty to burglary.

The court heard that Lomax, of Longfield Road, Bolton, had convictions for 43 previous offences, mainly shoplifting, but this was his first burglary.

Mr Magill stressed that Lomax had deliberately targeted vulnerable, elderly people and there was a degree of pre-planning.

But James Heyworth, defending said that, while Lomax admitted burglary, he had not stolen possessions from any of the residents’ private accommodation.

He added that, whilst in prison awaiting sentence, Lomax has freed himself of drugs.

“He very much hopes, when released, to put his offending behind him,” said Mr Heyworth.

Judge Graeme Smith sentenced Lomax to 18 months in prison. “This was apparently targeted in that you knew the people who lived there, you knew what was there and you made a conscious decision to take it,” he said.