Burglar jailed for Westward Ho! raid that left pensioners too frightened to sleep

Dean Hiscott

Dean Hiscott - Credit: DC Police

An intruder has been jailed for a night time raid on an elderly couple which has left them too frightened to sleep. 

Dean Hiscott stole rings of great sentimental value from the pair, who were aged 77 and 85, as well as cash and bank cards which he used to withdraw hundreds of pounds. 

He was caught because he took keys from the house to open their car outside but then left his torch inside it. Police traced him from DNA on the switch. 

The victims wrote personal statements saying the home owner suffered a heart attack and stroke shortly afterwards and both are now looked after by relatives who have moved to Devon to do so. 

They said they are both fearful and finding it hard to sleep, Exeter Crown Court was told. 

Hiscott burgled the house in Westward Ho! during a month-long crime spree last October in which he also snatched cash from the till at a shop in Northam and pushed over a 63-year-old female employee as he fled. 

He nicked a bicycle from under the owner’s nose in Bideford and tried to disguise it by painting it gold but did so in such a hurry that he covered the chain and wheels as well as the bodywork. 

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He also attacked a custody officer after one of his arrests, leaving him with a broken thumb. 

Hiscott, aged 30, of Cross Street, Northam, admitted or was found guilty of burglary, fraud, two thefts, and two assaults and was jailed for two years six months by Judge Timothy Rose. 

He told him: “The elderly victims of the burglary were at home asleep at night and stole jewellery of great sentimental value. 

“The psychological harm will affect them for the rest of their lives. They don’t feel safe and they cannot get to sleep at night.” 

Miss Bathsheba Cassel, prosecuting, said Hiscott’s first offence was stealing a bicycle on October 1 last year. The owner saw him riding away and asked him what he was doing. He claimed to have bought the bike on Gumtree but police later found it covered in gold paint. 

He raided the Northam Newsagent shop the next day. He entered when the till was unattended momentarily and snatched several hundred pounds. He was seen by the shop assistant, who came out from the bank and who he pushed over as he fled. 

He stole a bicycle shortly afterwards but the owner saw him riding away and asked him what he was doing. He claimed to have bought the bike on Gumtree but police later found it covered in gold paint. 

The burglary at Venton Close, Westward Ho! was at about 4 am on October 24, when neighbours heard a dog barking. He stole cash, rings and bank cards. 

He used the stolen bank cards to withdraw £300 from cashpoint machines on the Quay in Bideford within hours of the break-in. Police found the empty purse and a set of keys from the house at his home. 

Hiscott denied the burglary and said he met a mystery homeless man outside a shop in Northam at 5 am on the day of the burglary who left the stolen items at his home after he invited him back for breakfast. 

Mr Paul Grumbar, defending, said Hiscott has previous convictions but is not a prolific burglar. He said his family describe him as having low intelligence and he has mental health issues which include hearing voices.

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