Burglar jailed after targeting vulnerable women

Adam Harding. Picture: Avon and Somerset Constabulary

Adam Harding. Picture: Avon and Somerset Constabulary - Credit: Avon and Somerset Constabulary

Victims were left ‘traumatised’ after a burglar ‘knowingly targeted lone and vulnerable women’ leaving them feeling unsafe in their own homes, a court has heard.

Adam Harding, aged 42 of Highbridge, has been sentenced to four years in prison after being found guilty of two burglaries in Burnham following a three-day trial at Taunton Crown Court which ended yesterday (Thursday).

Harding threatened his first victim, who was lying in bed, to demand where her money was after he entered her home without permissino on September 11 last year.

The woman, who lives in Abingdon Street, heard a knock on her door at around 7am, but, due to her limited mobility, was unable to answer it.

She saw Harding in her garden around half-an-hour later and he asked about a flat for sale before leaving.

Later that day he returned and entered her home through an insecure rear door.

Harding threatened her while she was lying in her bed and demanded to know where her money was. He then searched through drawers and under the woman’s bed.

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The victim later identified Harding as the offender.

Harding then gained unwanted entry into the second victim’s home in Rosewood Avenue through an open rear window on the first floor on the same day at around 5.50pm.

The owner heard a bang and went to investigate. When she opened the door of the rear bedroom, she saw Harding and told him to get out. He left through the same window.

As well as CCTV footage of Harding, a witness saw him at the property and later identified him as the offender.

Both victims gave evidence during the trial, which the woman from Abingdon Street did via Microsoft Teams due to her limited mobility.

PC James Loftus from Operation Remedy, who investigated the offences, said: “Harding has knowingly targeted lone and vulnerable women which is callous behaviour.

“Both victims were left traumatised, feeling unsafe in their own home.

“It has been a long road for them and I would like to thank them for remaining strong and supporting our work throughout this challenging time.

“Their evidence, supported by witnesses, was vital in helping to secure this conviction. I hope that in some way it will help that they can now put this behind them.”