OAP’s ‘terror’ at drug addict robbery

Robbery victim Roy Thorpe from South Elmsall.
Robbery victim Roy Thorpe from South Elmsall.

A 91-year-old terminally ill pensioner has spoken of his terrifying ordeal after a heroin addict forced his way into his home.

Great-grandad Ronald Thorpe says he was “terrified” when Carl Felstead forced his way into his home in South Elmsall and demanded money.

Felstead – who made off with Mr Thorpe’s £300 television and his wallet – was jailed for four years by a judge at Leeds Crown Court on Monday. Mr Thorpe said he had suffered nightmares since the ordeal in October and was now frightened to leave his home.

He said: “When he came into my house I just didn’t know what to do or what to think. He just asked for money. I was terrified, I didn’t know what he was going to do.”

Mr Thorpe’s daughter Janice Utley, 67, also of South Elmsall, said her dad’s life had changed dramatically since the incident.

She said: “This has really shaken him up and has made his health deteriorate because of the stress of it all.

“It’s terrible. We all work hard to buy nice things and then you just get someone like that who thinks it is okay to steal.

Mrs Utley added: “We are glad Felstead has been punished but think he should have got a longer sentence because this has impacted on my dad’s life so much.”

Mr Thorpe’s granddaughter Ruth Jones, 36, also of South Elmsall, said: “My grandad used to go on holidays to Spain regularly, and go to town on the bus but he is scared to leave the house now. He just isn’t grandad anymore.”

The court heard Felstead, 30, targeted Mr Thorpe’s home on October 21 last year, just eight days after being released from prison. Mr Thorpe was at home on his own during the afternoon when Felstead appeared at his door.

He asked the pensioner if he was alone before walking into the property. Felstead searched for cash but there was only loose change in the house because Mr Thorpe had not been to collect his pension.

Felstead told Mr Thorpe: “I will take the TV instead,” and wrapped it up in a blanket before leaving.

Police were contacted after Mr Thorpe informed his family and Felstead was traced after Mr Thorpe’s great grandson saw someone carrying a TV a few streets away. The man admitted that it was stolen property and he had bought it from Felstead.

Felstead, of no fixed address, was arrested and denied the offence until forensic experts discovered his fingerprint on the TV screen.

Felstead pleaded guilty to two offences of burglary – a day earlier he had broken into a house in Holmfirth and his blood was found at the scene.

The court heard Felstead had 25 previous offences for house burglary dating back to 1995.

Richard Canning, mitigating, said his client accepted that the offences were serious.

Jailing Felstead, Judge Christopher Batty said in relation to Mr Thorpe: “He now has a terminal illness and one of the last things he will remember is you being in his property.

“We have heard of the anxiety and trauma he has suffered because of you being there.”