Family burglar and robber jailed - Houghton Regis


A man who tried to rob a Dunstable corner shop late at night and who twice burgled the Houghton Regis home of his parents was today, Wednesday, 09 July 2014, jailed for almost five years.

James Funnell, aged 25, was in the grip of addiction to Class A drugs and Luton Crown Court was told his life had been ruined as a result. But, said Judge Michael Kay QC, to break into his mum and dad's home in St Michael's Avenue in Houghton Regis and take her jewellery had been "particularly despicable."

Funnell was found guilty by a jury of attempting to rob the shop keeper of Houghton Mini Mart in Houghton Parade, Dunstable. He had burst into the shop on the evening of 17 August last year as the man was cashing up. Funnell, who was armed with a knife, bellowed at the shop keeper, but had not reckoned on the courage of the shopkeeper behind the counter, who was able to push him away and send him fleeing.

Funnell, of Grove Road, pleaded guilty to four offences of burglary, including the two break ins at his parents home, which happened in June and July of last year when they were out. The judge said it was a "shocking" crime for a son to have committed on his own parents.

He was arrested for those offences after being caught on an CCTV system at the home of his parents' neighbour.

The two other burglaries were in May of this year when Funnell broke into a garden shed in Houghton Regis and a garage in Cemetry Road from which three racing bikes worth £7000 had been stolen.

Judge Kay jailed him for a total of four years and nine months.

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