A burglar who raided a pensioner’s house as she lay dead on her living room floor has been jailed for six years.
Carl Port, 50, ransacked the home of 81-year-old Jean Whitmore in Hall Green, Birmingham on April 26 last year.
He stole several items, including her bank card and jewellery, after stepping over her body when he broke in by smashing a window with a brick.
Port then used Ms Whitmore’s card on 12 occasions before officers discovered her body at the house on Rydal Way five days later when worried neighbours contacted police.
West Midlands Police initially launched a murder enquiry but a post mortem found Ms Whitmore died from natural causes sometime between April 15 and 16.
CCTV from shops, a pub and cash machines showed Port using the stolen card - including at a Cash Generator store where a transaction was declined after detectives cancelled the card.
The declined receipt was found inside his wallet when police arrested him on July 15 at his home on Hamlet Road - just a three-minute walk from Jean’s house.
His home and campervan were searched and three jars full of Ms Whitmore’s jewellery were found inside, one contained a watch belonging to her late father.
Port pleaded guilty to 12 counts of fraud but denied burglary and went on trial at Birmingham Crown Court.
He was found guilty on Monday following a four-day trial and was jailed for six years.
Detective Constable Alan Reeves, of West Midlands Police, said after the case: "Port must have known that she was dead, as he would have walked over her in order to get into the house and steal her most valuable belongings.
“It’s truly shocking that he didn’t call for help or let anyone know that she’d died.
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In a statement released on Wednesday, Ms Whitmore’s loved ones added they felt justice had been done and she could finally rest in peace.
They said: “Jean was such a proud lady and she wouldn’t want to bother anybody.
"She was very happy in her home and loved nothing more than to watch her favourite TV programmes, tennis and football.
"When Jean passed away we were shocked to find out not only that she’d died but had in fact been burgled in her own home as she lay deceased. It was truly shocking.
“The Hall Green community was in shock over what had happened to Jean, a well-known and well-loved larger than life local character.”