Restriction order for burglar who broke into 94-year-old’s home to ‘use the toilet’

Luton Crown Court
Luton Crown Court Image: South Beds News Agency

A burglar who forced her way into the bungalow of a 94-year-old Bedford woman was this week (Monday, 10 October) ordered to be detained in a mental health unit.

Adetayo George, who has Schizoaffective disorder, was given a restriction order that means she will not be released until the psychiatrists treating her think it is safe.

Luton crown court heard that the victim thought George was a friend of her daughter when she rang her doorbell in Ormesby Way in Queens Park.

Prosecutor Ali Dewji said: “Ms George said: ‘I am pregnant. I need to use your toilet.

“She was told to get out, but pushed past her and went to the bathroom.”

The elderly woman waited outside the bathroom and followed 38-year-old George as she rummaged through a cupboard and a set of drawers in her bedroom.

She again told George to get out. When she had gone she realised her handbag was missing along with a watch, a mobile phone, a purse containing £30 and a bank card.

About 18 minutes later, at 2pm on Friday, 10 December last year, George tried to use the bank card at the Queens Park Supermarket on Honey Hill Road. She was not successful. Three late attempts to use the NatWest card also failed said the prosecutor.

In a victim’s personal statement, the elderly woman said she feared for her safety now, is terrified to leave her home, and suffers flashbacks and panics when she sees people walking past her house.

Speaking directly to George in the statement she said: “Your actions left me feeling petrified in my own home.”

George of Ford End Road, Bedford appeared for sentence having pleaded guilty to burglary and four fraud charges.

She had received a hospital order in 2018 for three offences of burglary and theft.

In a basis of plea, George said she did not push past the elderly woman. She said she had committed the burglary because a man was “leaning on her”.

Consultant forensic psychiatrist Dr Martin Laker said he had first treated George when she had been transferred to his care from Peterborough prison in 2018.

She was serving a sentence there for her first home burglary.

Dr Laker said that when she was discharged her care in the community in Bedford was “sub-optimal” and she lapsed quickly back into taking cannabis and cocaine.

He said that if she was returned to prison it is likely her mental health would again deteriorate and the mental health services would have to step in again.

Judge Steven Evans told her: “The 94-year-old lady living in her bungalow was entitled to feel safe. It was an extremely traumatic event. Nobody can excuse breaking into the house of a 94-year-old woman.

“I appreciate the services may not have been adequate on your discharge but you have responsibility yourself. If you repeat this type of offending you will go to prison for a long time.”

Reporting by South Beds News Agency
Edited by Paul Hutchinson for the Bedford Independent

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