A “scumbag” burglar who preyed on the elderly and vulnerable during the Covid-19 lockdown mocked a judge after he was jailed for 10 years as he sneered: “Is that it? Should have made it 15.”
Michael Alcorn, 55, of Accrington, Lancashire, made the comment after he was sentenced on Tuesday at Preston Crown Court for a string of burglaries over two days in April.
Alcorn was on licence at the time from a nine-year jail sentence for burglary in 2004 when he posed as a builder to con his way into the home of an 81-year-old severe dementia sufferer and stole cash.
Before his outburst on videolink from prison the court heard Alcorn had contracted coronavirus while on remand and that had more of a “salutary affect” on him than any of the numerous jail terms he had received for a total of 25 previous convictions for 55 offences.
His barrister Andrea Lock said: “He was very poorly and tells me he thought it might be his fate that he would die in custody.
“He said that had given him more pause for a rethink than anything before.”
Alcorn pleaded guilty to five burglaries on April 28 and 29 at homes in Whitworth, Rossendale, Helmshore and Haslingden, and stole cash from two of the addresses.
He also admitted breaching an anti-social behaviour imposed in 2004 which bans him from approaching homes to offer services.
The daughter of one of his latest victims, an 83-year-old man with limited mobility, branded Alcorn “a lowlife” by targeting a “vulnerable, old man who has never hurt anyone in his life”.
The son of another victim, a 79-year-old woman who lives alone and requires regular care visits, said of Alcorn: “The man is a scumbag.”
Sentencing, Judge Brown, the Honorary Recorder of Preston, told the defendant: “You are a person who is prepared to prey on those least able to resist.
“At a time when the Covid-19 crisis was close to its highest peak these were elderly and extremely vulnerable people who no doubt had been instructed by the Government that they fell into the special category of people who needed to self-isolate for their own protection.
“Despite that you were willing to go into their homes and have confrontations with them.”
The court was told it was very unlikely that Alcorn would be released before his licence period for the previous offence expires in September 2023.
Judge Brown added it was “a matter of great regret” that Alcorn’s sentence had to be passed from Tuesday and that he no longer had the legal power to pass a consecutive jail term from when his licence period ends.