Burglar who was spared by judge stole from woman three days later

Melanie Askew from Ely was given a second chance by a court judge, but stole cash from a woman in 60s just three days later. 

Melanie Askew from Ely was given a second chance by a court judge, but stole cash from a woman in 60s just three days later. - Credit: Cambridgeshire Constabulary  

A burglar who received a second chance from a court judge, allowing her to walk free, stole cash from a woman in her 60s just three days later.  

Melanie Askew, 41, was handed a suspended sentence on September 16 last year after admitting two burglaries in High Barns, Ely, in June 2020. 

Three days later she walked into a home in the same road through an unlocked front door. 

When confronted by the resident, a woman in her 60s, she claimed she was looking for someone to tell them their aunt had died and asked for a glass of water. 

The woman made her a drink and returned to find Askew sitting in her living room next to her handbag. 

Askew took a sip of water before making off with a small amount of cash from the woman’s purse. 

The victim’s daughter contacted police a few hours later when the victim noticed the cash was missing. 

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Askew was identified as a suspect through CCTV and arrested two days later wearing the same top as seen on the footage. 

Her fingerprints were also found on the glass she had drunk from. 

Askew, of New Barns Avenue, Ely, was jailed for two years at Peterborough Crown Court on Wednesday (January 20) after pleading guilty to breaching a suspended sentence order and burglary. 

She was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £128. 

DC Victoria Norden, who investigated, said: “Askew showed complete disregard for her previous convictions and was back causing misery in the community again within a matter of days. 

“Thankfully this sentence will see her behind bars for some time, which I hope provides some reassurance for the public.” 

A police spokesperson said: “Tackling burglary is one of our force's main priorities because we understand it can happen to anyone and often leaves a long-lasting impact on victims. 

“A secure home will reduce the chance of you getting burgled. But, if you get home and notice signs of a break-in, you can report a burglary to us online or by calling 101. 

“If you believe the intruder is still inside your home, you should call 999.” 

For more advice, visit: www.cambs.police.uk/information-and-services/Burglary/Burglary-prevention-advice