JAILED: Burglar used dead woman's card to buy pint after finding body during break-in
A burglar who used a dead pensioner's bank card to buy himself a pint after he found her body on the floor has been locked up.
Carl Port, 50, was this week jailed for six years after being convicted of burgling the Birmingham home of Jean Whitmore last year.
Jean was already dead when Port smashed his way in on April 26.
Police were not called until five days later, when worried neighbours said that they had not seen 81-year-old Jean for many days.
When officers got to the house in Rydal Way, Hall Green, they found a brick had been used to smash a window at the back of the house leading into the dining room.
WATCH: Burglar buys pint with dead woman's card
Officers forced open the back door and immediately found Jean’s body on the living room floor next to the dining room door.
Detectives were called to investigate the death as a possible murder, but a post mortem found that Jean died from natural causes and placed the date of death somewhere between April 15 and 16.
It turned out Jean’s bank card had been used 12 times after her death, including at least one occasion where Port used it to buy a pint of beer in a pub.
Someone also tried to use the card at Cash Generator after it had been cancelled by police but this transaction was declined.
Investigators traced the stolen bank card and collected CCTV from shops and cash machines, which proved it was Carl Port using it.
He was arrested on July 15 from his home on Hamlet Road - just a three minute walk from Jean’s house. The declined Cash Generator receipt was found in his wallet.
Port's home and campervan were searched and three jars full of Jean’s jewellery were found inside, including one which contained a watch belonging to her late father.
Although Port pleaded guilty to 12 counts of fraud, he denied burglary.
But he was found guilty and jailed for six years following a four-day trial at Birmingham Crown Court.
In a statement released today, Jean’s loved ones said that they felt justice had been done and that she could finally rest in peace.
They said: “Jean was such a proud lady and she wouldn’t want to bother anybody. She was very happy in her home and loved nothing more than to watch her favourite TV programmes, tennis and football.
"When Jean passed away we were shocked to find out not only that she’d died but had in fact been burgled in her own home as she lay deceased. It was truly shocking.
“The Hall Green community was in shock over what had happened to Jean, a well-known and well-loved larger than life local character.
Detective Constable Alan Reeves said: “The burglary happened around 10 days after Jean died. Port must have known that she was dead, as he would have walked over her in order to get into the house and steal her most valuable belongings.
“It’s truly shocking that he didn’t call for help or let anyone know that she’d died. It’s even more shocking that he continued to use her bank card up until it was cancelled six days later.
“Although we’re pleased with the sentence nothing will undo the extra hurt he caused to Jean’s family and friends during their time of grief, and we hope that justice brings them some closure."
“Det Con Alan Reeves and his team have done an incredible job in securing a conviction. We are very grateful for the work they have done."
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