Couple in shock after burglary while they slept
A MAN who committed his first burglary aged just 12 has been jailed again after almost ruining a couple's dream honeymoon in India.
Thomas Van Delft and his wife had only lived at their home in Bellevue Road, St George, for three months when they discovered they had been burgled while they slept.
The burglary had a massive effect on the couple and the theft of their credit cards made paying for the necessary ceremonies abroad difficult.
To make matters worse when one of the stolen laptops was returned to the couple it contained a picture of the burglar and an email account belonging to his girlfriend.
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David Evans, 38, of Nagshead Hill, St George, pleaded guilty to the burglary on July 25 at the two bedroom terrace but a statement from Mr Van Delft asked for him to receive rehabilitation, not jail.
Richard Posner, prosecuting, said: "Thomas Van Delft, his wife and mother went to bed at home just after midnight on July 25. The house was locked but the window in the bedroom had been left slightly open.
"The defendant came into the home through the window and took two laptops worth £700, a wallet containing £20, associated credit cards, two handbags, jewellery and a mobile phone. He left by the front door which he left open and was discovered by the residents at 7.20am the following morning.
"The defendant had left his fingerprint as he climbed through the window and when he was arrested a laptop and mobile phone were found at his home. The rest of the property has gone.
"The crime has had a significant impact on the victims. It was one week before they were due on a three week honeymoon in India and the loss of the credit cards made the various ceremonies very difficult to pay for. It also had an emotional impact on his wife. She was very anxious in the home, especially alone at night and checked the locks almost obsessively.
"In an impact statement Mr Van Delft added 'What I found very disturbing was that when my laptop was returned to me the man who had burgled my property had left a picture of himself on my laptop. There was also an email account for his girlfriend."
The court heard Evans committed his first burglary aged 12 and had been convicted of 43 previous offences including eight other burglaries. By committing this offence he had also breached a suspended prison sentence for aggravated vehicle taking.
David Miller, defending, said although his client had fallen foul of the three strikes rule resulting in a three year sentence he asked for an exceptional course of action. He said Evans had stayed out of trouble for five years. He added: "He is utterly determined to go straight."
Judge Michael Roach told Evans he did not accept that this was a turning point and said he was subject to the three strikes rule.
Evans was jailed for three years for burglary and given an additional three months inside for breaching a suspended sentence.