Thief who caused Washington pensioner to suffer heart attack convicted of manslaughter

(L-R) Sarah Daniel, Leanne English, David Bulmer Credit: Northumbria Police

A woman has been found guilty of killing a pensioner after he suffered a heart attack when she burgled his home.

Sarah Daniel of Waterloo Walk in Washington broke into William 'Billy' Jackson's home to steal tobacco and cigarettes on 24 September 2021.

Along with her partner Leanne English, Daniel planned to break into the 71 year olds home and take advantage of another vulnerable person.

Daniel has been convicted on manslaughter after Jackson suffered a cardiac arrest during the break in.

The 33 year old entered Jackson's home in the Concord area of Washington late at night, while 29 year old English waited outside.

The pair, alongside a third suspect - who has been clear of any wrongdoing - were captured on CCTV leaving the area, while the victim, who had preexisting health conditions experienced heart failure due to the stress he faced during the incident.

Jackson of Hertburn Garden's later died in Sunderland Royal Hospital.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the pensioner was targeted as he was well known in the area for selling cigarettes and tobacco.

Prosecutor Jamie Hill QC said was the victim's neighbour raised the alarm after his dog started barking. After seeing figures leaving the victim's home, the neighbour chased them but was unable to keep up, so returned to Jackson's flat where he called 999. Daniel denied the charges of manslaughter and conspiracy to commit burglary, but was convicted of both offences on 29 April following a four week trial.

English also of Waterloo Walk, Washington denied conspiracy to commit burglary but was convicted by the jury.

William 'Billy' suffered from a heart attack and died following the burglary Credit: Northumbria Police

A Northumbria Police Spokesperson said: "This is a tragic case and our thoughts go out to Billy’s family and friends.

"The last seven months ever since this incident has been incredibly difficult for them, and we'd like to thank them for their amazing bravery, poise and cooperation throughout."

A third defendant David Bulmer of Bramston Way also appeared in court related to an incident on the 17 September 2021.

It is after Bulmer and Daniel forced their way into the home of a Barry Clark of the Sulgrave area in Washington.

The court heard how Clark was the victim of and fraud and assault when he was beaten in his home during an aggravated burglary.

It follows Clark refusing to give Daniel and English money after they failed to repay money borrowed from him; something they regularly did after befriending the victim.

In June 2021, English grabbed Clark and held him under and underpass as Daniel stole his wallet and phone. After which she fraudulently withdrew nearly £300, leaving just a tenner in his account.

Daniel and English were convicted of fraud and common assault.

Following this, Daniel and Bulmer went to Clark's house on 17 September, where they forced entry into his home and pushed him down the hallway. Bulmer is said to have "screamed" at the victim that he owed his friend money, as he used a baseball bat to hit his legs.

During this time Daniel took Clark's wallet and cash from the coffee table which amounted to over £230.

It is thought the pair used a stolen card at a local shop before, returning it to Clark's home through his front door. David Bulmer who is 20 years old, was found not guilty of manslaughter and conspiracy to commit burglary in relation to Mr Jackson.

Yet Bulmer and Daniel were both found guilt of aggravated burglary against Clark, in the week before Jackson’s death.

The three defendants have been remanded in custody and are due to be sentenced on 8 July.