'Three strikes' burglar jailed

First published in News

A 23-year-old burglar who raided a helpful neighbour's flat while she was away for the weekend has been jailed.

"Third strike" house burglar Daniel Dalton broke in through a window and left through the door of the flat in Avon Road, Kidderminster, between March 29 and April 1 this year, Worcester Crown Court was told. He stole a laptop and flat-screen TV.

The occupant of the flat was away for the weekend visiting her family and discovered the break-in when she got back, Paul Whitfield, prosecuting, told the court, She knew Dalton, who lived nearby in Rifle Range Road, and had helped him to settle in by doing his washing.

She saw him later in the day and challenged him about the raid but he shouted at her and threatened her, Mr Whitfield said. When police tackled him in the street, he put up a struggle before they could arrest him. The laptop and TV were recovered.

Dalton pleaded guilty to burglary and resisting arrest.

Fergus Maxwell, defending, said he had acted "on impulse" and was very apologetic. He had been released from his last prison sentence on licence in June last year and had been doing well until he decided to carry out the raid.

"He feels he has let himself down," Mr Maxwell said. "He has no other explanation other than that it was making work for idle hands."

Judge Michael Cullum said Dalton had a bad record for someone of his age, with 14 previous appearances in court, including two convictions for house burglary, which meant he was on three strikes and would get the mandatory sentence.

He said it was a "mean" burglary because it was someone Dalton knew who had helped him and he targeted the flat when they were away.

Dalton was given two years, five months. He will also have to complete his previous sentence for offending while on licence and was given a concurrent term of one month for the summary offence of resisting arrest.

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