Man jailed for Tadley home burglary while owners were on Christmas trip to Lapland (From Basingstoke Gazette)
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Man jailed for Tadley home burglary while owners were on Christmas trip to Lapland
A MAN has been jailed for burgling a Tadley family’s home while they were on a pre-Christmas holiday in Lapland.
Adrian and Shona Smith and their two young sons discovered the burglary when they came back to their house in Droxford Crescent in the early hours of December 10 last year.
Wayne Lewis, of St Patrick’s Road, South Ham, Basingstoke appeared in the dock at Winchester Crown Court having pleaded guilty to one count of burglary.
The court heard the whole family left for Lapland on December 5.
Edward Phillips, prosecuting, said between December 5 and 10, Lewis entered the house by breaking a kitchen window.
He said: “The burglar then proceeded to go through the house, various drawers were opened and a number of items went missing.”
The stolen items included two games consoles, an iPad, a camcorder, and Breitling and Armani watches.
Lewis also took a wedding ring and an engagement ring belonging to Mrs Smith’s late grandfather.
Mr Phillips said officers arrested Lewis just before Christmas after a DNA taken from a smear of blood left on the radiator of the house matched Lewis’ profile. It is thought he cut his hand on broken glass.
The court heard that Lewis had 19 previous convictions, some of which included burglary.
Mark Sullivan, defending, said his client was seeking to pay off drug debts.
He said: “The defendant does not pretend he was acting under duress, but he does say he found himself in a very difficult predicament.”
Judge Guy Boney sentenced Lewis to two years and five months in prison.
Mrs Smith sat in the public gallery of the court when Lewis was sentenced.
Afterwards, the 34-year-old said: “I came here to see what he looked like and draw a line under it.
“I am happy with the verdict but it is what we expected.
“Discovering the burglary was awful. I was carrying one of my sons up the stairs and I started seeing doors open that I knew I had not left open. It ruined Christmas.”