Washington burglar jailed over death of man, 71, who suffered heart attack during break-in

Sarah Daniel (left) was jailed following the death of Billy Jackson, who died of a heart attack after she broke into his home. Credit: Northumbria Police

A woman has been handed a 20-year jail sentence over the death of a pensioner who had a heart attack after she broke into his home.

Sarah Daniel burgled the home of 71-year-old William 'Billy' Jackson, who died after going into cardiac arrest.

The 71-year-old man was described as gentle and generous by his grieving family in a statement after she was jailed following a hearing at Newcastle Crown Court on Wednesday 9 November.

The court heard how Daniel had entered his home on 24 September 2021 while her partner Leanne English waited outside. Another defendant, who was later cleared of any wrongdoing relating to the death, was also present at the scene.

The pathologist who carried out the postmortem examination on Mr Jackson, who had advanced heart disease, diabetes and mobility issues, said he would not have died at that exact moment if not for the stress caused by the burglary.

At a trial at Newcastle Crown Court in April, Daniel, aged 34 of Waterloo Walk in Washington, was found guilty of manslaughter and conspiracy to commit burglary.

She was also convicted of a further count of aggravated burglary and fraud relating to a separate victim.

English, 40 of Waterloo Walk, was found guilty of conspiracy to commit burglary and a charge of common assault against a separate victim.

She faces a jail term of five years and five months.

Billy Jackson had a heart attack because of the burglary and later died. Credit: Northumbria Police

A statement made by Mr Jackson's family after the prosecution said: "We have struggled to come to terms with what happened to Billy and that we have had to endure a trial.

“This has brought extra stress through this awful time. We hope as a family we can have justice and Billy can finally rest in peace. Our whole world from that Saturday morning turned completely upside down.

“Billy was such a kind, gentle, generous man. He was a very old school man who would go out of his way to help and do what he could for anyone. To think that someone had hurt him makes us feel physically sick to the stomach and absolutely broken."

Leanne English (left) and David Bulmer (right) were both jailed. Credit: Northumbria Police

The jury found a third defendant, 20-year-old David Bulmer of Bramston Way in Washington, not guilty of manslaughter or conspiracy to commit burglary against Mr Jackson.

However, both he and Daniel were found guilty of aggravated burglary relating to a different victim.

The court heard how the pair had forced their way into his his address before assaulting him with a baseball bat and stealing cash, a mobile phone and a bank card.

Bulmer was sentenced to seven years in prison.