Burgling addict: ‘I’ll cry rape’
A burgling drug addict warned two pensioners if they reported
her she would accuse them of rape or sexual assault.
Twisted Hannah Halstead threatened and stole from her elderly
victims after breaking in and confronting them in their homes in
A jury of five men and seven women unanimously found the
22-year-old guilty on four counts of burglary at Reading Crown
Court on Thursday.
The court heard how 75-year-old Fred Smith heard a noise in
his kitchen on January 7 last year, and found a woman on the
Halstead had climbed through the kitchen window Mr Smith had left open to allow his cats to get in and out of his ground floor flat in Lulworth Road.
She told him they were friends, which Mr Smith denied, before she asked for cigarettes and then stole £30 cash from his jacket and on a sideboard. On a second occasion Halstead entered through the window again and stole a further £100 in cash and another time found nothing and left.
During two of the burglaries she warned Mr Smith if he told police she would accuse him of sexual assault and interfering with her.
The same month Ken Hamblin was at his Blandford Road home when Halstead came to the door before stealing £105.
When the 76-year-old tried to retrieve his money she kicked him in the shin and left saying she would cry rape.
Mr Smith and Mr Hamblin picked out Halstead in identity parades but the former was only 50 per cent sure because of her hairstyle.
Halstead was evasive in police interviews and declined to give evidence in court.
Following conviction the court heard Halstead had a history of drug addiction and a string of convictions for shoplifting, crim-inal damage, racially aggravated assault and driving offences.
Addressing the jury at the end of the trial the recorder, David Altaras, said: “These were very serious offences where this defendant preyed on two elderly, vulnerable men and weakened members of society that were made victims, and the only proper sentence is prison.”
Halstead, of Hartland Road in Whitley, was remanded and is due to reappear before the same court for sentence on Monday, July 6.