A conman stole from a vulnerable woman after tricking his way into her home by pretending to be a council worker.
Dean Marriott convinced the woman to let him inside her house after claiming he was there to check on a gas leak.
The 53-year-old attempted to maintain the elaborate ruse by pretending to scan different areas within the building using a special “remote control”.
He then distracted the woman and made off with her phone and handbag when her back was turned.
Marriott, of Wilkins Gardens, Clifton, was chased by officers when he returned to the house five hours after the incident on 21 January 2022.
He was seen carrying a plastic bag containing the stolen iPhone 12, which he claimed someone had “told me to bring back because it’s all over Facebook.”
After then fleeing from the scene, officers were able to identify Marriott as a suspect soon after, when CCTV filmed outside the house in Bulwell showed him looking through the kitchen window minutes before the distraction burglary.
The footage then also showed him running from the house with a handbag and phone shortly afterwards.
After being arrested and charged with the offence, Marriott appeared before Nottingham Magistrates’ Court on 29 January 2022, where he pleaded guilty to burglary.
He appeared at Nottingham Crown Court for sentencing on Wednesday (29 June 2022).
A statement from the victim was read out in court, which detailed how the incident had contributed to her suffering multiple seizures because of the stress.
She added: “I have always felt safe in my home but I’m now fearful of being alone and am always looking over my shoulder.
“I’m terrified that this man will come back again and I live in constant fear in my own home because of what happened. I now question my own judgement and I’m now hesitant to answer my front door.”
Carrying out sentencing, Judge Steven Coupland said: “It would’ve been obvious to you that this house had a high chance of having someone vulnerable inside. You had multiple chances to back away and not go through with what you had planned but sadly you chose not to.”
Marriott was sentenced to one year and ten months in prison.
He was also made subject of a restraining order.
Detective Constable Demi Robertson, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “Marriott deceived his way into a vulnerable woman’s home under false pretences before stealing her belongings the second her back was turned.
“His actions that day were completely unacceptable and have quite rightly seen him punished with a custodial sentence.
“Stamping out burglaries from our communities is one of our key priorities as a force, as we know how important it is for people to feel safe within their own homes.
“As the victim’s impact statement read out in court showed, burglary is a hugely emotive and intrusive crime that can leave an indelible mark on people.
“Nobody should ever feel unsafe within the walls of their own home.
“Burglary and theft will never be tolerated by Nottinghamshire Police and we will continue to do everything in our powers to crack down on incidents like this and ensure offenders are punished for their actions.”