Suffolk: Man jailed after admitting string of burglaries

A HEROIN addict who stole thousands of pounds worth of property during a spate of burglaries at homes over a two-month period has been jailed for 18 months.

Max Walker targeted houses in the Leiston area and was also involved in a burglary at St Andrew’s Church, in Aldringham, during which a �2,000 silver chalice used for Holy Communion was stolen, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

One of the burglaries was at the home of a couple in their late 80s who were watching television at around 8pm on January 6 when they heard someone moving around upstairs, Michael Crimp, prosecuting, said.

The male householder, who has since died, got up to investigate and heard someone run down the stairs and leave the house through a side door. He later discovered that two of his wife’s rings worth �1,500 had been stolen.

Walker, 22, of no fixed address, admitted four burglaries at houses in Aldeburgh Road, Aldringham, Station Road, Leiston, and two in Kings Road, Leiston, involving property worth nearly �4,000.

He also asked for 12 offences, including seven domestic burglaries and a burglary at St Andrew’s Church to be considered and admitted being in breach of a suspended sentence.

He was jailed for 16 months for the burglaries, with eight weeks to run consecutively for the breach of the suspended sentence.

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Sentencing him, Judge Peter Fenn said Walker had been heavily addicted to heroin at the time of the offences and it had been suggested he would benefit from a drug rehabilitation order. However, Judge Fenn said: “I would be failing in my public duty if I was to pass anything on you other than an immediate sentence of custody.”

Mr Crimp told the court the offences Walker asked to be taken into consideration involved property worth �2,151 of which only �658 was recovered.

He said that the owners of a house in Kings Road, Leiston, were at home with their children in February when Walker had got in through an unsecured door and stolen a laptop computer, a mobile phone, building society cards and a games console.

Scene of crimes officers linked Walker to the burglaries in Kings Road, Station Road and the one in Aldeburgh Road, Aldringham, by fingerprints or a shoeprint, Mr Crimp said.

Laura Kenyon, for Walker, said he was in a downward spiral at the time of the offences in January and February this year. He had become addicted to heroin and was drinking and had become involved in the burglaries after his drug dealer chased him for money he was owed.

Miss Kenyon said Walker had not played a leading role in the burglaries and regretted the effect they had on the owners of the properties he had broken into.