Two burglars jailed after failed escape

TWO prolific offenders have been sent to prison after they committed a “spree” of burglaries and thefts.

Lee Holland and Liam Panayis, both 27, were sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday after they admitted taking part in burglaries both together and on their own during 2008 and 2009.

The pair were finally caught “red-handed” as they tried to escape from police during a burglary in Primrose Hill, Haverhill, last year.

They had tried to make a getaway across the roofs of neighbouring properties after stealing a Blackberry from an upstairs bedroom, but were stopped in their tracks when the Suffolk police helicopter and the fire service arrived at the scene.

The court heard that Holland, of Wellington Terrace, and Panayis, of Shire Court, both Haverhill, had amassed convictions for more than 100 offences between them.

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His Honour Judge John Holt sentenced Holland to a total of four years in prison after he admitted four burglaries, one count of affray, one of using threatening words or behaviour, one attempted theft, one theft from a van and one case of criminal damage.

Judge Holt commented on the “unpleasant violence” of his crimes and his nature as a “prolific and persistent” offender.

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Panayis was given two years and six months after previously pleading guilty to three burglaries and one count of criminal damage, while also asking for nine other burglaries and thefts to be considered.

The pair sniggered as the sentences were read out, while members of their families cried in the public gallery.

Judge Holt also ordered that a victim of one of the burglaries committed by Holland, a Mrs Wilson, of St Botolph’s Way, Haverhill, should be awarded �500 for her bravery in confronting him and his accomplice, who was not in court.

Judge Holt said: “She tried to grab to grab the man who ran past her – who she later identified as Lee Holland – and she saw another man in the garage and grabbed him and held him there until the police arrived. I think she was remarkably brave and she deserves a reward.”

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