A pregnant woman turned her father and aunt over to the police after she spotted them in a Facebook crime appeal stealing sentimental belongings from a retired woman’s house.
Cora Patterson, 19, bravely identified her father, Colin Patterson, and her aunt, Janine Patterson, as the perpetrators of a burglary after seeing CCTV footage showing the pair breaking into Marlene Stott’s home in March.
The mum-to-be said it broke her heart to put her father in jail, but she has since been ‘commended’ by Judge Timothy Stead for her courage and sense of justice.
Cora, who went to police after naming her dad and aunt on Facebook, told The Sun:
I found out I was pregnant in February and dad was over the moon. It was his first grandchild and he told me it would be a fresh start for him. Less than a month later, I spotted him on CCTV burgling a family home.
It breaks my heart that my baby will grow up without a granddad. Putting my own father in prison was the hardest thing I have ever done but it was the right thing to do.
There was CCTV footage of the burglars and immediately I recognised my dad and his sister, Janine. I felt so angry and ashamed and I posted their names and details on Facebook. I was devastated and I felt so bad for the people whose home he had burgled. I felt at rock bottom.
I sent my details to the home owner and then I spoke to the police. Dad was arrested soon after.
Cora’s father was in and out of prison for petty crimes throughout her childhood, and a court heard Patterson had 34 previous convictions for burglary prior to committing this offence alongside his sister, Janine (pictured above).
My parents separated when I was little and dad wasn’t around much. But I still had a real soft spot for him, I suppose I always wished he would change. There were a few occasions when he took me to the cinema for a day out and I loved it.
I stayed in touch with him because he was still my dad, and I always had the hope that he might come good.
Cora’s hope was rekindled when she found she was expecting her first baby in February this year. The baby is a first grandchild for her dad. But she was ‘absolutely ashamed’ to see her father’s criminal activities had continued even after the good news of a baby in the family.
I phoned him and he was absolutely thrilled. He came round to congratulate me and he told me that the baby would be a new start for him and he wouldn’t let us down.
But his burgling spree continued, and once Cora had handed her dad over, they exchanged heart-breaking text messages that would be the last shared between father and daughter for some time:
Cora worried at first her dad was suicidal after being caught for his crimes again, saying: “I was panic-stricken at first, worrying that he was going to kill himself because I had reported him. But then I realised he was just selfish and attention-seeking. I certainly wasn’t the one who should be feeling guilty.”
The exchange ended with Mr Patterson saying: “No point textin cora love u bye”.
Cora concluded: “Dad has let me down once too often. He doesn’t deserve to be in my baby’s life at all.”
Colin Patterson was sentenced to four years in prison and Janine Patterson to 30 months in prison for this offence as well as six months in prison for a previous crime for which she was serving a suspended sentence.