Burglar jailed - Harpenden


A burglar was jailed for a total of 52 months today, Monday, 13 March 2017, for his part in a night-time break-in at a house in Harpenden.

Dean Rees, aged 36, said he was the look-out while an accomplice stole computers, including one, which contained all the owner's Open University work, from the house in Salisbury Road. The woman's Mini Countryman car was also stolen while she slept upstairs.

Luton Crown Court heard that house keys were used to get into the home on Sunday, 12 July 2015. Co-defendant Aileen Tucker, aged 33, had stolen the owner's daughter's handbag while she was in a pub in the town. The keys were in the handbag along with personal documents that gave away the address. Two Apple Macs, a handbag and passport were stolen along with the keys to the red Mini. CCTV showed the car being driven off in a convoy. The £20,000 car had false number plates fitted and was sold for just £250.

Since the burglary, the victim has been affected psychologically. She now feels vulnerable in her own home, the Judge was told.

At earlier hearings, Tucker received a community sentence for the theft, and Michael Towers, aged 30, was jailed for four and a half years for his role in the burglary and another in Luton.

Prosecutor Simon Wilshire said Rees had also been "loitering" when Towers, on the night of 28 August 2015, burgled a house in Dunstable Road, Luton. He drove off in a Vauxhall Corsa awith Rees in it.

Rees of Beadlow Road, Luton, pleaded guilty to burglary, theft of the Mini, and allowing himself to be carried in the Corsa. His trial had been due to start today. He was in breach of a 12-month suspended sentence imposed in February 2015 for two charges of attempted burglary. The court was told he had 32 previous convictions for 95 offences.

Paul Addison, defending, said that Rees has an extremely unattractive record related to an addiction to drugs since he was 14. "He apologises to the victim for the loss and distress he has caused and is ashamed by the way he has behaved," said Mr Addison. He acted as a look-out while the Harpenden burglary was carried out, he said.

Recorder Anthony Clover told him: "The offences are so serious only a custodial sentence can be justified. The householder was present and there was a significant loss to the victim. There was significant planning."

In addition to the custodial sentence, Rees was also banned from driving for three years.

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