A BURGLAR who targeted four victims as old as 80 in the same sheltered accommodation has been jailed for four and a half years.

It was the latest in Coraleena Hunter’s long career of crimes against vulnerable and elderly victims that has included robbing an 84-year-old man and blackmailing a 70-year-old man with cerebral palsy, York Crown Court heard.

Rob Galley, prosecuting, said one of her latest victims awoke to find her at his bedside.

In a personal statement the victim said that everyone living in the sheltered accommodation complex on Skeldergate was now on edge as a result of Hunter’s burglaries as the complex should have been secure.

Hunter, 44, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to four charges of burglary and one of assaulting a police emergency worker.

“By your past behaviour and your behaviour on this occasion, this is clearly targeted offences of very vulnerable people,” Judge Simon Hickey told Hunter.

He jailed her for four years, six months and two weeks.

Mr Galley said the first burglary happened on October 28 when Hunter conned a 65-year-old man to let him into his flat by asking to use the toilet. She stole his HugoBoss aftershave.

On October 30, she walked into the flat of an 80-year-old woman at 5.45pm "like a tornado" and when the resident confronted her, claimed to be a social worker. But she smelt of beer and was holding a drinks can, so the woman told her to leave. The resident alerted police.

At 6pm, Hunter was in a 71-year-old woman’s flat in the same complex claiming to be looking for “Mick”. Again she smelt of alcohol and was told to leave, said Mr Galley.

At 6.15pm a 66-year-old man in a third flat awoke to find her by his bedside claiming to be his carer. She had a can of alcohol in her hand and it took him 10 minutes to get her out of his flat.

Police arrested Hunter in the complex’s reception area. When a police community support officer stopped her leaving, she pushed the officer in the chest causing her to lose her balance but not fall over.

Hunter’s 100 previous convictions included blackmailing a 70-year-old man with cerebral palsy and robbing a 65-year-old man by forcing her way into his home.

In 2016, she stole from the bedside cabinet of an 84-year-old after behaving sexually towards him, and then on a separate occasion, pushed him to the ground in an alleyway near Shambles Market and took his pension. She claimed to eye-witnesses she was his carer.

For Hunter, Emily Hassell said she was strongly addicted to alcohol and heroin. She had started using drugs when she was 17 years old.

At the time of the burglaries, she had been homeless and wanted to go to prison as she didn’t feel safe because of her own mental health problems.  She had told police on arrest: "I am sorry about this, I just need to survive."

Since being remanded she had been diagnosed with having an emotionally unstable personality disorder and was now taking methadone, anti-depressants and anti-psychotic medication.