Street burglar jailed - Dunstable

30/05/2013

A man who burgled his own neighbours in a Dunstable street was jailed for 2 years 8 months today, Thursday, 30 May 2013.

Michael McCarthy, who had a drink and drug problem, broke into four homes in Southwood Road in the town. After his arrest he went to Birmingham where he burgled another address, Luton Crown Court was told.

On 13 December last year the 25-year-old forced open a window at a house in the street and stole Christmas presents, bought for family and friends, along with electrical items and jewellery.

Then on 12 January he got into a 72-year-old woman's home through the bedroom window while she slept. He stole electrical items, cash, jewellery and keys, but he left behind a fingerprint that led to his identification.

Four days later a woman was woken by seeing a figure in her bedroom doorway. McCarthy left and took with him a television, cash, camera and keys. He had got in through a kitchen window and again left a finger print. The victim was left so traumatised she can no longer sleep in her own room.

The next night he got into the home of an 83-year-old woman while she slept and stole cash, jewellery and electrical items.

When police went to his home to arrest him on 21 January  they found McCarthy hiding under clothing.

Some of the items stolen were recovered. Receipts showed he had received £355 for the jewellery he had stolen.

Whilst on bail on 16 February, he broke into the home of a couple, aged 78 and 76, in Birmingham. He was confronted by the man who grabbed him. McCarthy managed to escape, but was arrested nearby and the items he had taken were recovered.

McCarthy, now of Churchill Road, Leighton Buzzard, pleaded guilty to 5 offences of burglary.

Erin Haupt, defending, said that at the time McCarthy was drinking a bottle of vodka a day and had an escalating drug habit and drug debts.

Jailing him, Judge Michael Kay QC told him : "I have no doubt the offences were caused by a drink and drug habit which has escalated. Debts arising from drug use are a sadly familiar tale heard day in and day out in the courts.

"A number of people, some of them elderly, suffered to a great degree."

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