JAILED: Burglar who preyed on pensioners 'did not care if victims died'

A violent burglar who preyed on pensioners across the West Midlands, leaving one victim so traumatised she could not speak for days, has been jailed for 12 years.

Clinton Copeland has been jailed for 12 years after targeting pensioners in Birmingham
Clinton Copeland has been jailed for 12 years after targeting pensioners in Birmingham

Drug addict Clinton Copeland told police he didn't care if his elderly victims died and was described by a detective as one of the worst criminals she had seen in her 28-year police career.

The 36-year-old threatened one pensioner with a knife, hit another over the head with a picture frame and was eventually caught hiding in a bathroom in Bloxwich after 10 attempts to arrest him.

A two-month crime spree across Birmingham started on January 2 when an 85-year-old woman was woken in bed at her Hodge Hill home by Copeland shining a torchlight in her face.

She was threatened with a screwdriver - which was later found with Copeland's DNA on - before having two purses, cash and two rings stolen. She was left so traumatised and couldn't speak for days afterwards.

Four weeks later, Copeland barged his way inside a woman’s home in Shard End claiming he needed to use a phone charger.

He shoved the 79-year-old over and tried yanking rings off her fingers before locking the front door. As he rummaged through the house, the victim sneaked out through the garage door and ran into the street barefoot to raise the alarm.

Copeland, a Class A drug addict, was found hiding in a bathroom in Bloxwich

On February 14, Copeland forced entry into an 86-year-old man’s home in Edgbaston by hitting him with a picture frame, leaving his head split open. The victim was later found to also have broken his shoulder.

Copeland searched through the man’s pockets as he lay injured on the floor and made off with £400 cash having rifled through drawers.

Three days later he broke into a 77-year-old man's home, also in Edgbaston, threatened him with a flick knife and stole engagement and wedding rings belonging to the victim’s late wife, plus a watch collection.

Copeland, of no fixed abode, went on to admit five burglaries, one attempted break-in, two robberies and two thefts.

He was sentenced to 12 years in prison with an extended five-year licence period at Birmingham Crown Court on October 28.

Det Con Karen Kirman, the investigating officer at West Midlands Police, said: “He used various excuses to try and get into people’s homes, and if he was refused entry he forced his way inside.

“He stole money – some being saved for a funeral – plus sentimental jewellery.

"Some of the victims are still suffering from the psychological damage caused by Copeland.

“He was horrible in interview, threatened me, and showed no remorse for his victims.

"He even said he didn’t give a damn if they were hurt or if they died.

“He is one of the worst offenders I’ve ever dealt with and has rightly been classified as a dangerous offender by the courts.

"That means he’ll be subjected to an extended five-year licence period on his eventual prison release.”

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