Prison for burglar who conned elderly residents in Broadstairs and Sandwich

Parker using a stolen bank card to get cash

A burglar who conned elderly residents in Broadstairs and Sandwich into believing he was a tradesman in order to steal from them has been jailed for five years.

In June 2020, John Parker cold-called two homes in Broadstairs and one in Sandwich, posing as a tradesman and convincing residents he needed to come in to check their utilities, and would distract them while he stole cash, wallets and bank cards.

During the first burglary, reported on June 15 in Norman Road, Broadstairs, an elderly woman was told the drains were blocked and Parker persuaded her to pay £600 for him to fix them. During his visit the victim left him alone while she made him a coffee.

Parker then made his escape by claiming he had to fetch some more tools. Once he was gone, the victim realised he had stolen a number of purses, cash and a bank card. Transactions were later reported on the card at a cash machine in Ramsgate.

Shortly before midday on Saturday, June 20, Parker attended a property in Strand Street, Sandwich and talked his way into the home of another elderly woman by saying he needed to look for a potential leak. After looking around the house, the 23-year-old made his excuses and swiftly left.

A neighbour had seen Parker arrive in a white van with a second unknown man and became suspicious when she saw him leaving the property with something hidden down the front of his trousers. She checked on the victim and it was noticed that a handbag which had been by the front door, was missing.

A few hours later, Parker visited an elderly man in Broadstairs Road, Broadstairs, saying he needed to check blockages in a gas pipe. In the victim’s garden he was joined by a second man before they left, saying they needed to fetch more tools. This time Parker had stolen a purse containing cash and some keys.

In total Parker stole in excess of £1,200 from the three homes. Kent Police officers used CCTV to trace the movements of the burglar and Parker was identified as a result.

Parker, of Wife of Bath Hill in Canterbury, was charged with three counts of burglary and one count of fraud. He pleaded guilty to all four charges at Canterbury Crown Court and was sentenced to five years in prison on Wednesday, August 26.

Investigating officer DC Mark Huttley said: “To steal from other people is an awful thing to do, but to target elderly, vulnerable people in the way John Parker did, is despicable.

“His burglaries would have required a degree of planning and cunning in order to deceive. We urge anyone with elderly relatives or neighbours to keep an eye on them, and ensure they are cautious about opening the door to unexpected visitors. Never feel pressured into allowing people into your home and check to see they are genuine first.

“Fortunately Parker is unable to continue his criminal ways and I hope any other potential burglars will realise we will always aim to take the appropriate action to identify them and bring them before the courts.”


  1. This thief and thieves like him are utter garbage and worthless losers. Anyone who preys on and steals from the elderly and helpless deserve extremely lengthy prison sentences.

  2. Five years ? He be out in 18 Months if that. Its scary these days I never open the door to anyone I don’t know.
    A good trick is to buy a CCTV sicker and place it on front door saying CCTV in operation ( even if not)
    They cheap enough to buy but it puts many con-mens off .

  3. “Out after 18 months”….?
    I am probably a bit out of date these days but I think he would have to serve at least half of the sentence, if not more, before being even considered for release. Maybe the cruel nature of the offences, involving the elderly and vulnerable, would count against him and he might have to wait for a second Parole application. It might also depend on his previous convictions. Has he got previous for similar? We aren’t told so it is difficult to assess when he would get out.
    But let’s say he is released after 3 and a half years (as long as he behaved in prison and as long as he could prove that he had suitable, law-abiding accommodation on release),then he will be supervised for the remaining part of the 5 years. This might include wearing an electronic tag on his ankle to keep him at home for relevant periods (usually overnight but if he was a prolific offender in daytime in, say, supermarkets, it would be possible to restrict his daytime movements away from his address as well.)
    If he failed to keep to the release requirements which would include sticking to the electronic tag, reporting to a Probation Officer and any other requirement imposed on him (staying away from Broadstairs and Sandwich might be a likely one) he could be arrested and returned to prison to serve out the rest of the time.

    I may have got the details a bit wrong as these things change with each Home Secretary it seems, but the basics are as I described.
    So the idea that he will “get out in 18 months” is very wide of the mark.

    Lots of Prison staff, not to mention Probation and Police Officers, are payed not enough money to spend all day working out what to do with prisoners from the day of sentence all the way to the last day. And watching and monitoring what they do the whole time. There aren’t enough of them so they can’t achieve miracles but they prevent thousands of offences every year and save the public a great deal of heartache and worse.
    So it’s a bit of an insult to just brush off a five year sentence with the idea that he will just “get out in 18 months” as if nobody in the criminal justice system is bothered.

    • No names mentioned OK but a big time drug dealer part of 15 I think got jailed for 25 years in 1999 , on appeal it was reduced to 9 years and he got out after 5.
      The other one got 21 years but out after 3. He now a taxie driver.
      The prisions are full and judges have their hands tied so to speak .

  4. There’s no rehabilitation in prison, so just shoot them, poison or hang them, I mean what is the point of wasting any money on them???

    • Pretty much everyone in prison has already been through the court system numerous times and already served numerous community sentences before they are handed out a prison term. These criminals (not all but most) choose a life of crime be because it’s easy quick money. Rather than work hard and earn a wage like the majority they choose crime. At least while they are in prison at least they are not offending in the community causing heart break and suffering to their victims. Lock them up for longer and forget about them, it’s all they deserve.

  5. He should be given a medical and if deemed fit enough, publicly flogged around each Thanet town! This was common in the Royal Navy once, when someone could be flogged round the fleet to set an example to the others!

  6. Just had a man ring my door bell, claiming to be some sort of service veteran, I didn’t open the door, and told him to get a job, which is what I did when I left the army nearly 60 years ago! Never open your door to anyone you are not expecting, or don’t know!!!!

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