Employ Bernard Grainger of Middlesbrough at your peril, householders warned (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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Employ Bernard Grainger of Middlesbrough at your peril, householders warned
HOUSEHOLDERS beware: employ this man at your peril.
Bernard Grainger is a convicted burglar who is now facing a prison sentence for two heartbreaking crimes against the same family.
The 36-year-old stole thousands of pounds worth of treasured possessions from a woman – a year after he raided her daughter’s home.
Grainger, employed by both women as a handyman, even had the cheek to return to the scene of his first crime to repair the damage, Teesside Crown Court heard.
He secured the bust-in door and and installed a closed circuit television camera to provide peace of mind for the traumatised victim.
She had nearly £6,500 worth of jewellery and electrical items stolen from her property in North Yorkshire while at work in January last year.
It was not until a year later that the odd-job man became a suspect when the second burglary was carried out and police made the link.
Detectives later found money hidden in a hole in a wall at his home and more stashed under floorboards, along with a haul of expensive jewellery.
Last night – as Grainger prepared himself for another spell behind bars – his victims told how he has left them nervous and mistrusting.
The mother, whose house on the outskirts of Darlington was raided in January this year, lost more than £50,000 worth of belongings.
She said: “Even though the person who did this has been caught, we still feel uneasy and we both wanted to leave our homes afterwards.
“We didn’t for one minute suspect him after the first burglary because we trusted him and had known him for about six years.
“He carried on working for us for another 12 months until he robbed me. We feel betrayed – it was a total betrayal of both of us.”
Grainger, of Fairfax Court, Hemlington, Middlesbrough, admitted two charges of burglary at Teesside Crown Court this week.
He will be sentenced next month after background reports have been prepared, but Judge Peter Bowers told him: “You know what to expect.”
Police believe Grainger – well- known in Darlington before moving to Teesside – may be responsible for stealing from other customers.
A source told The Northern Echo: “It’s not beyond the realms of possibility that there may be more victims given his record for dishonesty.”
Grainger boasted on advertising fliers of offering “a friendly, reliable service you can trust”.
It is thought the jewellery which has not been recovered had been pawned or sold to gold companies and has since been melted down.
Grainger spent some of the money on a sporty Subaru Impreza, but police have since seized the car and retrieved the cash for the victims.
Detective Constable Mick Trodden, of Darlington CID, said: “It was absolute greed. It was not a need thing – he wasn’t trying to feed his family. The people who employed him gave him a lot of wage money over the years and he repaid them by betraying their trust in a dreadful way.”