A HOUSEBREAKER on the run who stole jewellery of sentimental value from a pensioner’s home has been locked up for almost two and a half years.
Gary McKay (23) had been wanted on warrant after failing to show up before magistrates for burgling a large detached home in Barnoldswick.
He had owned up to the Bench the day before and the justices had adjourned his case for 24 hours for him to see the probation service.
But, instead of turning up to face the court’s decision, he had gone out raiding again and was arrested a second time, Burnley Crown Court was told.
McKay, who struck at his 69-year-old victim’s Earby home as she slept, helped himself to two gold rings which had belonged to her mother. He had only just left her property when, awoken by noise, she had got up and gone downstairs.
The defendant, of New Road, Earby, had admitted burglary last November 15th and been committed for sentence by magistrates. He had pleaded guilty to the second burglary, last December 6th, at the higher court. McKay was sent to jail for 876 days.
Michael Wallbank, prosecuting, said a couple who lived on Kelbrook Road, Barnoldswick, left their home secure at 8-30am, last November. On their return at 1-15pm, they found it had been forcibly entered and £160 cash and a £150 iPod taken. The thief had got into the property by removing the extractor fan from the bathroom window, reaching in to open the window and climbing in.
McKay had left his fingerprints and blood at the point of entry and he was arrested at his home the day after. He was questioned and claimed he had needed money to visit his girlfriend in Blackpool.
Mr Wallbank said McKay failed to attend the magistrates’ court on December 5th after admitting the offence the day before. A warrant was issued and he was rearrested on December 7th.
The prosecutor said the 69-year-old had heard a noise at about 8am and thought it was the window cleaner.
She went downstairs into her back living room and found a sash window was partially open. The victim went to use the telephone and noticed the cable was dislodged from the socket.
She contacted the police and discovered cash and three gold rings had been stolen from her handbag. The defendant was detained later the same day and admitted entering the property.
The hearing was told McKay had convictions for burglary from 2005, when he was a youth. He was a “three strike” burglar, facing a minimum of three years in prison, minus “credit” for a guilty plea.
Sentencing, Judge Jonathan Gibson said he had to impose that term unless it would be unjust to do so, and, he added, he did not think it was unjust.
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