Gardener’s ‘despicable burglary’

Dido Smith
Dido Smith

A gardener from St Helens who burgled the home of two elderly pensioners, for whom he had previously worked, is starting life behind bars after a judge branded his actions as “despicable”.

Jailing him for two and a half years Judge Robert Trevor-Jones told Dido Smith, who was picked out by a witness during an identity parade: “This was a very mean despicable burglary.”

He said that he had targeted the house, which although unoccupied at the time, he knew was the home of two elderly and vulnerable people, one of whom was terminally ill and has since died.

The 32-year-old, who abused their trust to steal a safe from the premises containing cash and jewellery worth almost £14,000, was accompanied by another man who has never been identified.

Smith, of Sherdley Road, St Helens, had been convicted after a trial of burgling the house in Cross Lane, Orrell, on February 11 last year.

During the court case a Liverpool Crown Court jury heard that he had been picked out on an identity parade by a witness.

Judge Trevor-Jones said that Smith was previously of good character and his thieving actions had devastated his family.

Tom Watson, defending, said that the defendant has spent three weeks in Walton jail since his conviction and he tried to persuade the judge to take a constructive course by sentencing him to give something back to the community rather than jailing him.