|PETER ROUND, 40: JAILED|
Peter Round, 40, took advantage of a vulnerable woman by burgling her house and opening catalogue accounts in her name has been jailed, following a trial at Peterborough Crown Court, for three years.
Round was sentenced to 27 months for the burglary and frauds that took place in January and February, and was given an extra nine months for contempt of court offences.
Peterborough Crown Court heard the victim, a 48-year-old with learning difficulties, lived near to Round and his 41-year-old wife Anna and she had given them spare keys to her house. However, Round abused the trust place in him by entering her house on February 1st, stealing a games console and three games.
A few days later, police were contacted by a support worker of the victim who said a catalogue account had been opened in her name, without her knowledge, and goods worth nearly £90 ordered. It was discovered attempts had been made to open a further two accounts with different catalogues in the victim's name but these had been refused.
During investigations into those offences, it was discovered Round had also opened an account in the name of a 54-year-old man, and ordered items worth more than £130.
Round together with his wife were charged with burglary, and four counts of fraud by false representation and their trial began on Thursday (November 28th).
However, while the male victim was giving evidence, Round, of Chaucer Road, Peterborough, made a gesture to the jury, and was remanded into custody by the judge.
As he was taken away, he damaged the security screen around the dock, threatened a security officer, and threatened to kill investigating officer Detective Sergeant Karl Goyns.
On Friday November 29th, the crown court sat at Peterborough Magistrates' Court, due to the damage caused to the screen at crown court, and heard that Round had changed his pleas to guilty.
No evidence was offered against Anna Round, also of Chaucer Road, and the case against her was dropped.
Judge Nic Madge jailed Round for 22 months for the burglary, which was aggravated due to the fact the victim was vulnerable, and five months for each fraud, to run concurrently with each other, but consecutive to the other sentences.
He added further sentences for contempt of court: one month for the hand gesture, and eight months for the threats made to the dock officers, and the police officer.
The court heard Round had previously received 22 convictions for 56 offences including arson, burglary and drugs. He was also convicted of contempt of court in 2009, after making threats from the public gallery.
Det Sgt Goyns, who investigated, said: "This was a particularly difficult case for the vulnerable victim who showed immense courage and determination throughout, including during cross examination.
"The accounts given in interview by Round were peppered with lies and his dishonesty was painfully clear throughout.
"The conviction and sentencing shows not only how seriously we and the courts take burglary offences but also behaviour which disrupts the justice system."
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