Drug addict raider lurked in Nelson home

Burnley Crown Court.
Burnley Crown Court.

A burglar who stole cash and jewellery from the home of a Nelson mother and daughter during a crime spree has been jailed for five years.

Heroin addict Ian Ashworth (44) raided the Swaine Street property and stole £200 in cash and four gold rings worth a total of £600, Burnley Crown Court was told.

Ashworth was found lurking outside the living room door when the pair returned home on September 16th, the court heard. He tried to flee as one of the women shouted after him to stop – but he managed to escape through a rear yard.

The back door glass had been smashed and goods and cash worth £800 were reported stolen.

The burglary came during a crime spree which saw the defendant steal two charity boxes containing £100 in donations from a Great Harwood church on August 4th and stealing a mobile phone from a house in Clayton-le-Moors on September 29th. The defendant admitted the three offences at Crown Court.

He asked for a further six offences to be taken into consideration including a raid on a Nelson church.

The offences included four burglaries and two attempted burglaries in East Lancashire between September 2nd and 18th before he was arrested two days later.

Ashworth had a record of 27 convictions for 88 offences dating back as early as the 1980s.

John Harrison (defending) said the offences were opportunistic and not planned. His client was living hand-to-mouth to feed his drug habit and had let himself down. He said the defendant, from Great Harwood, was “frenzied”.

Recorder Phillip Parry sentenced him to 60 months in prison plus a £100 victim surcharge.