A 'DESPICABLE' burglar was caught stealing from a deaf and elderly woman after her neighbour installed a camera in her home.

The vulnerable woman was concerned that money had been going missing from her home so her neighbour put the camera in to try and find out who was responsible.

Images of Samuel Cooper, 35, of Lodbourne Green in Gillingham were captured and he was jailed for three-and-a-half years at Bournemouth Crown Court after admitting three offences of burglary, as well as fraud by false representation.

The court heard his victim was worried money had been going missing from her home in Gillingham town centre over a period of several weeks.

Her quick thinking neighbour installed a camera in her bedroom to try and identify who was responsible and on Thursday May 14 a man was seen on the camera to enter the bedroom, go through the drawers and take £20.

The man was later identified by local neighbourhood officers from the camera images as Cooper.

The victim was also informed by her bank that her card had been cancelled as someone had tried to use it three times with the incorrect PIN on Friday May 1.

Detectives and local neighbourhood officers worked together to obtain banking information, which led to a trawl of CCTV starting from where Cooper attempted the transactions using the card and concluding with the defendant returning to the area where he lived. Cooper was again identified by a local neighbourhood officer.

On two further occasions between Friday May 1 and Thursday May 14, £35 in cash was taken from the victim’s bedroom.

In total over a two month period the victim estimated that between £200 and £300 had been stolen from her and jewellery was also taken.

Detective Constable Kate Rhodes, of Western CID, said: "Samuel Cooper preyed on his vulnerable victim as he thought she would be an easy target and he entered her house without her knowledge and took money on several occasions.

"My particular thanks goes out to the neighbour who installed the camera. I am glad that we were able to identify him and bring him to justice for his despicable actions."