Man jailed for burglary - Pertenhall

25/05/2016

A court heard how the victims of a burglary, at their North Bedfordshire home, turned detective to track down the culprits.

As a result, one of people responsible for breaking into their home and taking a car was jailed for 20 months today, Wednesday, 25 May 2016, at Luton Crown Court.

Thomas Hefford, aged 38, of Rounding Mews, Upton, Northants admitted burglary and aggravated vehicle taking when he appeared at court via a video link from the jail where he has been held in custody since his arrest.

Matthew Farmer, prosecuting, told how on the night of 22 March, this year, the couple were assleep in their home in Wood End Lane, Pertenhall, when at around 2.15 in the morning the husband was woken by noise on the gravel driveway outside. He looked out of the window to see two men standing by his Volkswagen Golf and hs wife's Volkswagen Scirocco. He shouted out to the men and one ran off.

Mr Farmer said that by the time the husband got to the front door he saw his VW Golf being driven off and stop to collect the person who had run off.

Judge Barbara Mensah hearing the case was told the couple subsequently discovered entry to their home had been gained via a rear kitchen window and back door. As well as the car that had been stolen, they discovered their house keys, the wife's mobile phone, £10 in cash and some Romanian currency had also been stolen.

The police were contacted and it was then the couple realised the wife's mobile phone was fitted with a tracker device and had been left in the car that was taken. As a result, they were able to discover that the burglars had made their way from their home to the market town of Higham Ferrers in East Northants. There, the tracking ended and it's thought the phone was thrown out of the car, but it was enough to spur the victims into acting on their own initiative to try and find the culprits.

Judge Mensah was told they promptly jumped into the wife's car and drove to the village where they spotted the husband's car being driven towards them. The husband blocked the road with the Scirocco, which was struck by the Golf, which then drive into a nearby street where the two occupants abandoned it and made off.

A police dog was brought in, picked up Heffords scent and tracked him to a nearby wood where he was found hiding. Police officers found in his possession two pairs of gloves, a balaclava and the Romanian currency that had been stolen.

Sophie Sharpe, defending, said her client had pleaded guilty at an early stage, She said that despite a long record of offending, Hefford had managed to keep out of trouble for four years up until the offence in March. Miss Sharpe said that because of the financial situation he found himself in back in March he had made a "stupid error of judgement."

Passing sentence, the Judge said she could find no reason to suspend any prison sentence, so jailed Hefford for 20 months and disqualified him from driving for two years.

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