It showed him rifling through her handbag before appearing to talk to her

Matthew Benjamin Lewis, 33, from Ferndale, was jailed for five years after pleading guilty to two counts of burglary

A window cleaner was caught stealing money from an 86-year-old dementia patient's handbag after her family had already told him not to visit her home.

Matthew Benjamin Lewis, 33, was jailed for five years yesterday at Merthyr Crown Court, Wales, after he pleaded guilty to two counts of burglary.

The victim's family became suspicious after he made regular visits to their elderly mother's home and had CCTV installed.

Alarm bells rang when they saw the carers' visit log, which showed the window cleaner, from Ferndale, had called at the address again.

Playing back the footage, they saw him rifling through their elderly mother's purse in the sitting room before stepping into the corridor to have a conversation.

The family contacted South Wales police and Lewis was arrested the same day.

He denied the offence before the CCTV was played back to him.

Matthew Benjamin Lewis is caught on CCTV walking into the lounge before rifling through the 86-year-old dementia patient's purse

A year earlier Lewis was told by the family not to visit or contact their elderly relative after they became suspicious.

He was only supposed to clean the windows once a month and an arrangement was put in place for him to collect money from a neighbour but he was regularly seen at the pensioner's home.

The family confronted the 33-year-old and he agreed never to go to the house again, even if the victim asked him to.

Detective Constable Ann Stevens said: 'The family's trust was put in Matthew to provide a simple service to a very vulnerable member of the community.

After looking through the purse Lewis walks out of the room and seems to start a conversation

'He abused that trust and simply could not resist his temptation. I believe he befriended with the aim of taking full advantage of her.

'Luckily, the victim's family and her neighbours were vigilant enough to take action and the measures they put in place led to Lewis' conviction.

'He is now paying for his dishonesty in prison, where he has plenty of time to reflect on his actions which have caused considerable distress to the victim's family.'

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