Jail for Hastings man who stole from care home residents

A man has been jailed for 20 months after breaking into a care home in Hastings.

Unemployed Ryan Etherton, 43, of Malvern Way, Hastings, was sentenced at Lewes Crown Court on June 10th.

He had previously pleaded guilty to burglary and theft, and failing to surrender to police/court bail at the required time, when he appeared at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on May 13th.

Officers were called on September 26th, last year, by Southdowns Nursing Home on Hollington Park Road after staff discovered one of the fire escapes was damaged and open. A handbag belonging to a resident at the home was also found in the car park outside. Fortunately, the bag did not contain any valuables and no items were missing or stolen.

Police viewed the home’s CCTV and saw a man – now known to be Etherton – trying door handles at the property but failing to gain access.

He is then seen on the footage spraying some cloths with cleaner, and approaching the fire escape with a piece of wood. Moments later, he is seen walking away from the building with an item hidden inside his coat.

Etherton was identified from the footage, and from his mobile phone which was found at the scene near to the stolen handbag. His DNA was also later found on the bottle of cleaning spray he was seen to handle on CCTV.

The investigating officer said: “Etherton shamefully targeted the home knowing there were vulnerable residents inside.

“We were able to build a strong case against him and we are pleased to see justice has been served.”

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