A ‘third strike’ burglar who stole items worth hundreds of pounds from a Doncaster property has been jailed for 12 months.
Persistent burglar, Patrick Ronan, broke into a property and an adjoining garage located in Tudor Road, Intake some time between January 27 and February 3 this year.
Sheffield Crown Court was told how the owner of the property was in the process of moving house, and ensured the house was secure on January 27 when he left it unoccupied for a number of days.
“When he returned on February 3 this year, he noticed at once that there was damage to the front door, and also noticed the garage door was bent and broken and someone had forced entry,” said prosecutor, Michael Tooley.
He added: “From the garage a lawnmower and power tools had been stolen.
“From inside there was a television, a vacuum cleaner and miscellaneous items, including some change and Second World War memorabilia.”
The items stolen from the house and garage were valued at over £1,000.
Police were called to the scene and finger prints found on the table the television was taken from and from the damaged front door were found to match Ronan’s.
He was subsequently arrested and charged with two counts of burglary, which he pleaded guilty to at an earlier hearing.
Mr Tooley said Ronan, 26, was technically a ‘third strike’ dwelling house burglar, which carries a minimum prison sentence of three years, but added he was handed a 14 day sentence at Doncaster Magistrates’ Court in February last year for his second dwelling house burglary.
Amy Earnshaw, defending, said Ronan, who was diagnosed with autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder as a child, believed the property to be permanently unoccupied when he broke in.
“The offences were committed when he was having trouble with drugs, but he has used his time in custody [on remand] wisely and is now free from drugs,” said Ms Earnshaw.
During a hearing held today, Recorder, Simon Eckersley, jailed Ronan, of Dudley Road, Intake for 12 months.
He said: “You may have thought that the property was empty, but you obviously thought it was worth breaking into and that there were things worth stealing belonging to others...when people break into homes, their victims are affected and are forced to consider the safety of their homes.
“That’s why dwelling house burglaries are so serious, and that’s why there are minimum sentences for such offences.”
Reocrder Eckersley said he believed it would have been ‘unjust’ for him to pass the minimum sentence of three years, due to the fact Ronan was given a custodial sentence for his second dwelling-house burglary.
South Yorkshire Police have been asked to provide a custody image of Ronan.