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Last Updated: Friday, 19 May 2006, 16:47 GMT 17:47 UK
Men who preyed on elderly jailed
Darren Goode and Steven Lock
Steven Lock (R) chose his victims while working as a gardener
Two men have been jailed after they admitted a string of burglaries at the homes of elderly people.

Steven Lock, 38, of Moreton-on-Lugg, and Darren Goode, 30, of Leominster, each admitted a number of burglary offences at Worcester Crown Court.

They were sentenced to 11 years each for their crimes, which were carried out in rural areas of Herefordshire.

The oldest victim was aged 102. Many victims were unable to recover from the trauma of being burgled, police said.

The judge read out quotes from their victims, some of whom asked why the men had picked on elderly people.

'Severe sentences'

Some of the victims had been burgled more than once by the two men.

Lock, of Cedar Close, pleaded guilty to 10 counts of burglary, one of attempted burglary, nine of conspiracy to commit burglary and one of robbery.

He also admitted an unconnected charge of dangerous driving.

Goode, of Portna Way, admitted three charges of burglary, one of attempted burglary, six of conspiracy to commit burglary and one of robbery.

The two burglars
The two men were captured on film in one of their victim's homes
Sentencing them Judge Richard Rundell said it was difficult to imagine anything worse for an elderly person, possibly living on their own, to be a burglary victim.

"I am quite satisfied, despite your present protestations, that you have no idea of the harm you have done to these elderly victims.

"The message must go out that those who prey on the elderly and vulnerable will receive severe sentences."

The court heard how father-of-four Lock, chose his victims while working as a gardener.

A concealed camera placed inside a house caught two men on film but police were not able to identify the pair.

They were later arrested by police on the A49 on 9 April 2005, shortly after committing several burglaries.

Police found gloves, balaclavas, a screwdriver and torches from their vehicle.

As well as being jailed the pair have had an 11-year Criminal Anti-Social Behaviour Order on them, banning them from visiting dozens of burgled addresses and imposing a curfew on them.

They are also banned from associating with each other and from travelling to certain areas when they are released.

Speaking after sentencing, Det Insp Andy Hughes, who led the operation to catch the pair, said they had shown a callous disregard for their victims.

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