Ipswich: Prolific criminal Mark Nicholls jailed after stealing child’s 50p plastic ball during bungalow burglary

Burglar Mark Nicholls, who was jailed for 16 months.

Burglar Mark Nicholls, who was jailed for 16 months. - Credit: Contributed

A burglar caught clambering out of a bungalow window while stealing a child’s plastic ball worth 50p has been jailed for 16 months.

Serial offender Mark Nicholls, of Foundation Street, Ipswich, was half way out of the window head-first after ransacking the property when he was seen by a friend of the occupant.

Nicholls, pictured, a 36-year-old with 49 previous convictions for 112 offences, was jailed by Judge John Holt at Ipswich Crown Court after admitting burglary at an earlier hearing.

The break-in occurred in Weymouth Road, Ipswich on September 29.

Nicholls entered a property by taking the beading off the main bedroom window before climbing through it.

He then searched the bedrooms inside.

The bungalow’s occupant returned home at around 4.50pm and saw the wooden gate was open.

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The female, who was with a male friend, checked the side of the property while her companion went to the rear of the premises where someone was heard moving around.

The man then saw Nicholls with half his body protruding out of a window as he was trying to make his getaway.

A scuffle ensued during which the woman’s friend attempted to pin Nicholls to the wall in order to detain him.

He ended up on the ground where the friend held him, while the bungalow’s occupant rang police. Nicholls made threats to the man and said he had a knife, but no weapon was seen.

Various items inside the property were broken, including a television stand. Clothing had also been taken out of a wardrobe.

When Nicholls was searched a 50p orange plastic ball stolen from a child’s toybox in the spare bedroom was found on him.

After Nicholls’ sentencing Detective Inspector Eamonn Bridger from Ipswich CID said: “The victim and witness are to be commended on their actions and quick-thinking which resulted in the detaining of Nicholls and subsequent arrest.

“Nicholls has numerous prior convictions, so the result of this case will have a hugely positive impact on the local community by getting him off the streets of Ipswich.”