Jailed: Woman, 38, befriended elderly men then stole cash and jewellery in 'mate crimes'

Patricia McGoldrick, 38, targeted the victims and once she gained their trust she stole cash and jewellery from them in a string of so-called “mate crimes”. (SWNS)

A mother-of-three who befriended elderly, vulnerable men over 20 years before burgling their homes has been jailed.

Patricia McGoldrick, 38, targeted victims then gained their trust, before stealing cash and jewellery from them in what police described as “mate crimes”.

In one incident, she climbed through the window of a 68-year-old man and demanded money while rubbing herself against him sexually, before stealing £60 from his wallet.

McGoldrick, of Bradmore, West Midlands, also made repeated visits to an 86-year-old man and stole a watch along with his late wife’s wedding and engagement rings.

McGoldrick was jailed for four-and-a-half years after she admitting to two charges of burglary, theft and attempted theft.

She also admitted charges of driving without a licence and insurance.

Judge Sylvia de Bertodano said: “You committed offences against men who all had in common the fact that they were vulnerable and elderly.

“What you did was befriend them and use that friendship in order to steal from them.

“For the last almost 20 years you have been taking things from people in very similar circumstances.

“But what the offences have in common is that you prey on elderly vulnerable gentlemen.”

McGoldrick was jailed for four-and-a-half years after she admitting to two charges of burglary, theft and attempted theft. (Getty)

On September 22, a 68-year-old man was at home in his ground-floor flat in Leamington Spa, Warwick, when McGoldrick appeared at the window.

She asked him for a cheese sandwich, £3 in cash and a roll-up cigarette which he did.

She returned three days later and again asked for a cigarette.

When the pensioner went to get his tobacco McGoldrick climbed through the window into the living room and demanded he hand over another £3.

Mr Sullivan said: “He gave her the money, but she upped her request to £8 and rubbed herself against him sexually, asking if he was frigid when he failed to respond.

“When she then tried to open a cupboard where he kept his wallet, there was a struggle as he tried to stop her, but she got the wallet and took £60 from it before leaving.

“About an hour later his son, having been told what had happened, saw her in the area and detained her and called the police – but officers took so long to arrive that he let her go.”

McGoldrick also befriended an 86-year-old man by approaching him in Leamington Spa town centre and asking him to look after her bag.


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He did this for two hours before handing it to the police when she did not return for it.

Mr Sullivan said: “Over an 18-month period she inveigled herself into his life and made a real nuisance of herself by turning up at his home on Leamington's Sydenham estate.

“During her repeated visits she stole a watch which had been a gift from his son, his late wife’s wedding and engagement rings and other items.”

On October 1, she knocked on his door, and when he opened it she tried to pull his wallet from his pocket, but he managed to grab it before she fled.

On October 23, McGoldrick approached an 82-year-old man she had befriended in the street and asked him for money before stealing £15 from his wallet.

Speaking after the case, Detective Constable Tim O’Mahoney, of Warwickshire Police said: “McGoldrick targeted vulnerable, elderly men, befriending them, in some cases over a significant period of time, before taking advantage of their good nature and ultimately exploiting them.

“This sort of crime is often referred to as “mate crime”, when someone pretends to be a person’s friend and then takes advantage of them instead of being a proper friend.”