Former bank worker burgled 96-year-old woman 'who never showed him anything but care'

The victim lived in Welby Road, Asfordby Hill, near where Pollard lived with his aunt, who was the woman's close friend
-Credit: (Image: Google)


A drunken former bank worker sneaked into his elderly neighbour's home while she was asleep upstairs and stole cash and her CCTV camera. But the camera's wi-fi signal continued working back at his own home, meaning his neighbour could see into his bedroom after the burglary and recognised him from the footage.

Gavin Pollard, 49, who had been made redundant from his job in banking in 2015, lived with his aunt in Welby Road, Asfordby Hill, near Melton. His aunt had been good friends with their elderly neighbour for 50 years and she had a key to her house.

One day Pollard copied his aunt's key and at about 2.30am on Saturday, September 16 last year, he used the key to break in. He was seen on CCTV searching the kitchen, where he stole £15 from her purse, before taking the camera.

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Leicester Crown Court heard on Tuesday how Pollard, who now lives in Nottingham Road, Melton, had no recollection of the burglary. The court heard that the woman, who has difficulty hearing, had got the CCTV camera after £150 had been taken from her home, which was money left to pay the carers who visit her two times a day.

Pollard, who is not accused of the earlier burglary, was seen on the footage from the second burglary shining a torch around the kitchen as he searched before taking the cash and then grabbing the camera. The signal continued to send the footage back to the pensioner's home as Pollard took it to his bedroom at his aunt's house and the 96-year-old victim recognised her friend's son, who she had known for about 25 years.

Leicestershire Police went to arrest Pollard three days later and recovered the £15 cash and the copied key but the camera, worth £44, was never found. Pollard was interviewed and denied the burglary, claiming the copied key was actually a key to his own home.

But he later pleaded guilty to dwelling burglary with theft. Helen Johnson, representing Pollard, told the court: "This is an unusual set of circumstances. He drinks at night and he drinks to excess.

"The act itself is bizarre. He cannot come to terms with what he has done. She is a vulnerable person who never showed him anything but care."

She said that after 20 years working in banking Pollard was made redundant and took an access course so that he could get a university degree But then the Covid pandemic began and he turned to alcohol abuse as his mental health deteriorated.

She said his behaviour was also partly due to the fact that Pollard was the victim of sexual abuse in his teenage years and "people who have been sexually abused do react in different ways". She asked the judge, Recorder Jacob Hallam KC, to suspend the inevitable prison sentence.

The judge said he wanted to know more about Pollard's mental problems and adjourned the sentencing for eight weeks so that a psychiatrist could speak to Pollard and write a report. Pollard is due to be sentenced on Tuesday, July 23.