Woman burglar jailed - Hoddesdon

12/10/2012

A Judge expressed his despair at a young woman burglar who showed no signs of changing her ways.

Nikita Cliff was before the court on Friday, 12 October 2012, for her third offence of domestic burglary, putting her in jeopardy of a minimum three sentence.

A probation report said she had "failed to comply with orders and shows no motivation to address her problems".

Judge Andrew Bright QC said: "I have rarely read a report quite as bleak as this one. It is a tragedy of the first order."

He said although he believed drugs were at the root of her problems and that she needed help, he had no alternative but to jail her - reducing the 3-years to 29-months, giving her credit for pleading guilty.

Cliff, 21, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to the burglary of a flat in Paddock Close, Hoddesdon on 19 November 2010.

Simon Wilshire, prosecuting at Luton Crown Court said Cliff and her boyfriend had been living in the flat below, and used a ruse to visit the victim shortly before the burglary.

"He now believes they were eyeing up some jewellery he had and she remarked on how nice it was. He moved it to a kitchen cupboard but thinks they saw him do this.

"A few days later he came home to find his door knocked in and the burglars had gone to the kitchen cupboard and removed the jewellery."

Mr. Wilshire said Cliff's fingerprint was found on a bag left at the scene. She disappeared and was not arrested until recently. In the meantime her boyfriend had been charged, pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to 18-months custody. It was his first burglary offence.

Sally Jackson, defending, said: "She has a daughter, but she has not seen her since she has been remanded into custody. She has found that extremely difficult and her mind set now is that this is the end and she is determined to turn her life around."

Judge Bright said: "This was a mean and nasty burglary and the property was never recovered. No Judge likes to send a young woman to prison for a significant period of time, especially when that woman is the mother of a young child, but realistically I have no alternative."

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