Jail for callous crook who targeted WW2 veteran
A callous burglar who targeted the Birmingham home of a World War II veteran has been jailed after West Midlands Police traced him from blood found on a broken window.
Wesley McDonnell forced his way inside the 98-year-old’s Bordesley Green home at 11pm on 26 September before snatching £200 in cash.
The victim – who served around the world with the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm – phoned a friend who alerted West Midlands Police to the burglary.
Forensics experts found droplets of blood on a glass door pane the 40-year-old smashed as he tried forcing open the property’s front door – and when analysed it returned a DNA hit to McDonnell who has a history of breaking into pensioners’ homes.
Detectives traced McDonnell, from Well Close in Bromford, to an address in Shirley where he was arrested on 6 October.
He initially denied the offence and claimed to have cut himself while carrying out work at the victim’s address.
However, he entered a guilty plea on the eve of his trial and at Birmingham Crown Court on Tuesday (5 Nov) he was jailed for four years four months, plus an additional eight months for handling stolen goods.
West Midlands Police Detective Constable Jen Horobin, said: “This is the time of year when decent, respectful people across the UK and beyond recognise the bravery and sacrifices made by those who served their country in conflict.
“Wesley McDonnell has no such respect – in fact he has a history of deliberately targeting elderly, vulnerable people he deems easy prey to steal from.
“Thankfully his victim on this occasion was not physically hurt but was understandably shaken up by someone breaking into his home late at night.
“I’m pleased McDonnell has been handed a significant term behind bars where he can no longer cause harm in our communities.”