Four men allegedly went on a “reconnaissance mission” to an 81-year-old woman’s house in a Suffolk village days before burgling her a court has heard.

Anthony Cosgrove, 46, of of Lodge Close, Chigwell, Essex was before Ipswich Crown Court for the second day of his trial charged with conspiracy to burgle a house in Cavendish, near Sudbury, just after midnight on 16 April 2020 with three other men, who have all previously pleaded guilty.

The court heard during the first day of the trial from the 81-year-old victim, who said a man ‘pounced’ on her in her bedroom in the night and only left once her neighbour came in to check on her.

The following day she told the court £20 was missing from her purse and her neighbour said two men ran out of the house when she entered. 

A third who was in the 81-year-old's bedroom left after the neighbour confronted him.

Ipswich Crown Court heard on March 6 of evidence the prosecution say suggests the burglars went out on a scouting mission around the alleged victim's house.

Prosecutor David Baird said this happened on April 11.

He questioned civilian investigator and former radio frequency surveyor for Suffolk Police, Martin Parsonson.

Mr Parsonson said there were two recorded instances on April 11 of Cosgrove’s phone using the Glemsford mast which covers an area including Cavendish.

The court also heard there were phone communications between Cosgrove and the other defendants who have pleaded guilty on April 11 and on the day of the burglary.

Prosecutor Baird said there was no activity on Cosgrove's phone between 7.48pm on April 15 and 1.23am on April 16, during which time the burglary is alleged to have taken place.

The prosecution says this is because he switched it off.

Mr Parsonson said he could not make a comment on where the phone could have been or if it was on or off during this time

However defence barrister Lewis Macdonald put it to Mr Parsonson that in fact the apparent gap in phone activity could have been because he did not have access to all recorded data from the phone collected by the nearest mast and so it was possible the phone was active.

Mr Parsonson accepted he did not have access to all the possible data.

Further Mr Macdonald added that gaps in recorded phone activity were not uncommon across many other days for Cosgrove's phone, so this would not be an anomaly.

Mr Macdonald told the court Cosgrove had been in regular contact with the defendants on many other days other than April 11 and the day of the burglary.

The trial continues.