A burglar who targeted the home of a charity volunteer while she was out helping her community has been jailed.

James Cross, 61, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty at Reading Crown Court to burglary, theft and fraud by false representation.

The court heard how Cross targeted the home of a 59-year-old woman, while she was carrying out voluntary work in Maidenhead on April 7.

Cross broke into her Ray Mill Road East home and stole cash, jewellery, paperwork and her bank card.

The court was told that he then used the card to withdraw £300 from a cash machine.

Today he was sentenced to 44 months in prison.

Detective Constable Martin Key, from the Maidenhead Investigation Hub, said: “While this woman was selflessly helping other within her community, Cross targeted her home in a truly selfish act.

“Burglaries have a considerable impact on victims, both financially and emotionally, and the property taken is often of sentimental value that cannot be replaced.

“Our homes are our place of safety and this should never be taken away by anyone.

“I hope this sentence sends a strong message that we will take action against those who think the law doesn’t apply to them and leaves the community feeling safer and reassured knowing Cross is no longer on our streets.”