A BURGLAR smeared his face with tomato ketchup before knocking on the door of an elderly Leamington couple’s home to trick his way inside before searching for cash.
But as Taj Ramzan rifled through a drawer expecting to find a large amount of money, his 86 year-old victim pluckily took him by the arm and led him out.
And 37 year-old Ramzan, of Station Road, Studley, was jailed for 27 months after pleading guilty at Warwick Crown Court to carrying out the burglary in May with intent to steal.
Prosecutor Anthony Cartin said Ramzan had turned up at the elderly couple’s home at 6.30 in the morning.
When the 86-year-old husband answered the door Ramzan, who appeared to have blood on his face, said he had been assaulted and asked for help.
The court heard he targeted the address because he believed there may be a large amount of cash.
Razman went straight upstairs and began looking through a drawer but the pensioner followed him, taking hold of his arm and telling him to leave – and he did so without taking anything.
The court heard Ramzan had convictions for offences including burglary and robbery up to 2008, but then nothing until last year when he was convicted of five thefts.
Nick Devine, defending, explained Ramzan had had a substantial drug addiction which he had managed to conquer in 2008, as a result of which he had stopped offending.
But last year he began mixing with old friends again, and that led him back into drugs – and into offending to fund them.
Jailing Ramzan, Judge Richard Bond told him: “It is to your credit that you turned your back on crime for eight years, but then you went back to your old ways.
“This was a distraction burglary of an old person who is a vulnerable man simply because of his age.
“There was a lot of planning went into this burglary. Look at the time of day, when people of that age are likely to be up and about, and you chose to deliberately apply ketchup in an attempt to con your victim into showing sympathy for you.
“Fortunately, despite his age, he realised you were up to no good and took hold of you and walked you out of the property.”