Career criminal jailed for 40 months - Harpenden


Career criminal Dennis Skiller was jailed for 40 months today, Friday, 02 August, for a spate of burglaries in Harpenden.

Skiller, from Leighton Buzzard, broke into five homes over three days and twice drove off with the owners' cars.

Prosecutor Wayne Cleaver told St Albans Crown Court, the break-ins took place while the owners were out. "Access was gained via the rear of the properties. The doors or rear windows were either broken or forced open. Rooms were entered and untidy searches took place. Some rooms were comprehensively turned over," said Mr Cleaver.

Items taken included jewellery, iPods, iPhones and other personal items.

He burgled a house in Fairmead Avenue, taking jewellery, other personal property, and driving off in the family's Ford Fiesta.

In Park Mount,  he went back and stole a VW Golf, having broken and taken items of a sentimental value. The victim at that house was four and a half months' pregnant and had just lost her father.

Two children  aged 4 and 6, had been unable to sleep in their bedrooms after their home had been burgled.

Skiller, 32, of Eagle Close, Leighton Buzzard pleaded guilty to five counts of burglary and two counts of theft. He asked for 51 cases to be taken into consideration. Those offences took places in Berkhamsted, Tring, Harpenden and Buckinghamshire. He had 27 previous convictions for 70 offences. 18 were for burglary.

Avril Stone, defending, said that by his own admission Skiller was a "career criminal." She said he wanted to overhaul his lifestyle and had admitted the other offences, which go back 10 years, to wipe the slate clean. He has a 3 and a half year old child and is supported by his partner and mother, she said.

She said he was remorseful and had written letters of apology to his victims.

Jailing him, Recorder Justin Rouse, said: "Burgling someone's home is a violation. You caused untold distress, loss and damage to many households."

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