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Brothers jailed after both admit part in burglary spree across East Anglia

PUBLISHED: 17:27 11 April 2019

Matthew Coward. PIC: Norfolk Police.

Matthew Coward. PIC: Norfolk Police.

Archant

Two brothers were found to be responsible for a string of raids at sports and social clubs after a member of the public reported one of the burglaries while it was happening, a court has heard.

Timothy Reeves. PIC: Norfolk Police.Timothy Reeves. PIC: Norfolk Police.

Matthew Coward, 34, and Timothy Reeves, 40, had been carrying out a burglary at GC’s Cafe at an industrial estate in Brooke.

Norwich Crown Court heard a member of the public heard “banging” and then saw two men, one wearing a balaclava, trying to break into the cafe.

Wayne Cleaver, prosecuting, said the witness called police while the burglary was being carried out on January 24 this year.

Police arrived and found Reeves inside the property.

He was arrested at the scene while Coward, who had “decamped”, was later found at home in his bed.

After they were arrested both were found in possession of mobile phones which were tested.

Following cell site analysis both defendants were found to be in the vicinity of a spree of burglaries carried out at sports and social clubs across Norfolk and Suffolk between February and April last year.

Mr Cleaver said a total of 20 venues, 14 in Norfolk and six in Suffolk, were targeted by the brothers.

During the course of the burglaries there was a total loss of £47,619, including more than £17,000 worth of property taken and in excess of £30,000 worth of damage.

Among the properties targeted during the spree were Beccles Sports and Social Club, Little Melton Village Hall, Lakenheath Indoor Bowls Club, Hethersett Sports and Social Club, Beccles Indoor Bowls Club and Tasburgh Village Hall.

Coward, of Mill Road, Little Melton, Reeves, of Key and Castle Yard, Norwich, appeared at crown court on Thursday (April 11) for sentence having previously admitted conspiracy to commit burglary.

Sentencing the brothers to 28 months each in prison Judge Stephen Holt said these were not “big empty factories” that had been targeted by the brothers, but small clubs used by people.

Gavin Cowe, for Reeves, said he pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and had expressed a degree of remorse.

Jonathan Goodman, for Coward, said his client entered a prompt guilty plea to the offences.

He said he acted primarily as a driver but recognises he is equally culpable.

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