A Charlton burglar on the run from prison and his female friend have been jailed after stealing cash from a Blackheath dementia sufferer.

The last words the 88 year-old victim said to a detective in Greenwich, before his health seriously deteriorated, were: "Please get them for me."

Michael Nicholls, 38, of Fairlawn, was wanted for absconding from Coldingley Category B prison where he had been serving time for theft and burglary, when he visited his elderly acquaintance's home on June 13 last year.

Nicholls turned up with pal Francesca Bunyan, asking the frail man to let them in and make a cup of tea.

But whilst the pensioner was preparing them a drink in the kitchen, Nicholls and Bunyan stole £1,100 from his wallet and ran away.

On June 23, Nicholls and Bunyan visited the man again but this time a member of the victimメs family turned up. Nicholls escaped from the back door but Bunyan was arrested after police were called.

Officers eventually arrested Nicholls last July after he was found in a Bexleyheath squat.

The victimメs health deteriorated rapidly after the second incident and officers, worried that he may not be able to testify in court, recorded his interviews for use in court.

At Woolwich Crown Court on June 26, Nicholls was given a sentence of four years and eight months for theft and being unlawfully at large.

Bunyan, 42, of Bostall Hill, Abbey Wood, was given a two-year suspended sentence. Both had admitted theft.

Officer in the case Detective Constable Chris Bryant said: "I am pleased with the sentence this callous and unscrupulous duo has received. They were sentenced even though the victim was unable to testify in court. They targeted an elderly, frail man in his own home.

"What they did had a serious, negative impact on the already fragile mental health of the victim. Nicholls said in his interview that he didnメt want to go back to prison - he will now spend several years behind bars. I hope that he takes the time to think about what he did."