AN Alderholt man has been jailed for five years for carrying out three “despicable” distraction burglaries in Dorset and Hampshire.

Manny Barney, 33, was sentenced at Bournemouth Crown Court on May 12 for burglaries in Verwood, Christchurch and Hampshire last year.

DCI Paul Powley, of Dorset CID, said: “These were despicable offences whereby Barney targeted some of the most vulnerable members of our community.

“Dorset Police takes offences like these very seriously. Anyone convicted of preying on the elderly in this way will be dealt with robustly by the courts.

“Victims of distraction burglaries or bogus callers are often elderly and live by themselves. I would like to remind residents to stay vigilant and urge people to make sure that their elderly relatives or neighbours are aware of this type of crime.

“I would advise people to stay wary when opening their doors to callers. Do not buy, sell or sign up to any work on the doorstep no matter how urgent they say the work is.

“If you are suspicious of their intentions, let a family member or neighbour know and inform the police by calling 101. If they won’t leave, call 999.”