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Crooked lodger admits stealing thousands from fellow tenants

Laurie Tanner 'targeted the vulnerable and elderly'

John Garvey

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John Garvey

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A SNEAK thief lodger is facing a likely prison sentence for burgling and stealing thousands of pounds from fellow tenants.

Laurie Peter Tanner, of Thatcham, particularly targetted vulnerable, elderly victims in Donnington and Newbury, Reading Magistrates’ Court heard.

The former account manager at Tickitape adhesive specialists in Bone Lane, Newbury, pocketed nearly £10,000, a district judge was told.

Helen Gambrill, prosecuting on Thursday, September 7, said: “This was a gross breach of trust.

“He was a lodger in shared accommodation in each case and accessed the locked rooms of other tenants.”

District judge Shomond Khan said the offences were so serious that he considered that his maximum sentencing powers of six months’ imprisonment were insufficient.

He therefore declined jurisdiction and said the matter would have to be dealt with by a judge sitting at the Crown Court in Reading.

Twenty-seven-year-old Mr Tanner, formerly of Cowslip Crescent, Thatcham, and who now lives at Denton Close in Thatcham, admitted stealing at least £2,000 from Christine and David Roberts; stealing four blank cheques from them, two charges of fraudulently presenting cheques in an attempt to gain a total of nearly £4,000 and one charge of fraudulently using a credit card.

All the above offences were committed at a property in Wantage Road, Donnington, between March 1 and June 30.

He further admitted burgling a room in a home in Gaywood Drive, Newbury, and stealing cash and shopping vouchers to a value unknown from Stephen Holcomb and burgling another room there and stealing a bank card and other property belonging to Katherine Shaw.

Both these offences were committed between June 7 and August 17.

Finally, Mr Tanner admitted using bank cards stolen from Katherine Shaw; forging a reference email intending to cause loss to Marcus Webb and stealing trainers worth £100 from Julian Kelhar.

These last offences were committed in Newbury between June 16 and August 14.

Mr Tanner, who wore a blue suit with white, open-necked shirt in the dock, was told he would be committed to the Crown court for sentence at a date to be fixed.

He was meanwhile released on conditional bail.

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