Homeless burglars jailed - Cheshunt


Two homeless drug users were jailed today, Thursday, 03 July 2014, for burgling the home of a retired probation officer in Cheshunt.

Mark Smith and Marlon Frankson, both aged 38, set off the alarm when they broke into the home in Albury Walk through the patio door.

Andrea Scott Lynch, prosecuting for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) told St Albans Crown Court they stole £6,700 worth of jewellery, but as they left, a group of passing school children shouted: "Those guys have robbed that house."

Neighbours called the police, who arrived quickly on the scene. The burglars split up, but were both arrested. Frankson was seen trying to hide a white canvas bag. All the jewellery was recovered. On the way to the police station in a car, Smith said: "It doesn't look good. You have got us banged to rights."

Smith and Frankson, who were both of no fixed address, but from the Cheshunt area, pleaded guilty to burgling the house on 16 May this year. Smith had committed two previous domestic burglaries and was liable for a minimum sentence of three years less a discount of 20 per cent for a guilty plea.

Michael Morris, for Smith, said he has been sleeping on the kitchen floor of a hostel and had been trying to raise money for accommodation. "This offending comes down to drug use. He has spent 11 of the past 14 years in custody."

For Frankson, Sean Smith said he had been addicted to drugs since the age of 14. While in jail he said Frankson hoped to take part in a detoxification and rehabilitation programme. "On release, one hopes there is support for him so that he does not find himself sleeping on the streets."

Judge Andrew Bright QC told them: "The total value of the jewellery taken was nearly £7,000. Fortunately it was recovered."

He sentenced Smith to 29 months imprisonment and Frankson to 12 months.

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