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Snodland: Frank Smith jailed after robbery

By Claire McWethy

A robber who conned his way into a pensioner’s house before ripping a gold necklace from her neck has been jailed for nine years.

Frank Smith of Chigwell in Essex called at the victim’s address in Nevill Road, Snodland last August, claiming her back garden needed some work.

The woman, in her 80s, shut her front door and met Smith, 42, at the rear door where she explained she already had somebody who tended to it.

The case was heard at Maidstone Crown Court

The case was heard at Maidstone Crown Court

Smith told her he was coming into her house and, uninvited, walked through to the kitchen asking for a pen and paper which she provided.

He then went into the victim’s bedroom. She challenged him and asked him to leave saying she said she had no money for any gardening work.

On hearing this he forcibly pulled a necklace from her neck and ran out of the house leaving the note pad on the kitchen worktop. The victim had possessed the necklace for 24 years.

Investigators seized the note pad and, on forensic examination, found fingerprints from Smith’s left and right thumbs.

"The victim was vulnerable because of her age and Smith took advantage of this"- Lisa Stevens from Kent Police

Being interviewed by police the following November, Smith denied having been to Kent for several years and was unable to explain his fingerprints being at the scene.

After a full day’s trial at Maidstone Crown Court yesterday, a jury found Smith guilty of robbery and he was sentenced to prison for nine years.

Investigating officer Det Con Lisa Stevens said: "The victim was vulnerable because of her age and Smith took advantage of this fact to gain access to her house and use violence to steal the necklace.

"Smith’s prison sentence will offer some protection to the residents of Kent and he should consider the effect his actions have on the victims of his crimes.

"I would like to commend the victim’s bravery in assisting us throughout the investigation."

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