Court of Appeal cuts Nelson burglar’s sentence

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A prowler who stole valuables from an “affluent” home in Nelson had his sentence cut today (Friday) – after top judges heard he spends time caring for his mother.

Serial offender Rafiq Mohammed Shaban, who has 51 previous convictions, was caged for three years two months at Burnley Crown Court last April after admitting burglary. The sentence included a two-month term for breaching bail conditions.

Judge Keith Cutler QC, sitting with Lord Justice Davis and Mr Justice Blake at London’s Appeal Court, said Shaban stole in through a patio door while five occupants of the house in Dunderdale Avenue, Nelson, were inside.

None of them were disturbed during the burglary, but the 39-year-old got away with valuables including credit cards and car keys, some of which were recovered by police at his home the next day.

A victim impact statement revealed the “considerable distress” caused to the family by Shaban’s intrusion, said the appeal judge.

However, allowing Shaban’s appeal and reducing his sentence by a year to two years and two months, Judge Cutler said the sneak thief, of Belgrave Street, Nelson, provided care for his mother and had not been given enough credit for his guilty plea.