Barnstaple burglar could not resist pair of boots

THE temptation of an up market pair of boots proved the downfall of an ungrateful North Devon house raider who repaid a 17 year old friend s kindness by burgling his mother s home. Exeter Crown Court heard the Barnstaple youth offered 19 year old Daniel

THE temptation of an up market pair of boots proved the downfall of an ungrateful North Devon house raider who repaid a 17 year old friend's kindness by burgling his mother's home.

Exeter Crown Court heard the Barnstaple youth offered 19 year old Daniel Sibley a bed for the night but the following day his generosity backfired on him.

Prosecutor Howard Philips said after the youngster had gone to work his brother rang to say the family home in Hawley Close, Forches, Barnstaple had been broken into.

However Sibley could not resist a pair of Timberland boots he found so he put them on---but carelessly left his own trainers behind in the house.


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The prosecutor said Sibley had gained entry through an insecure downstairs window and stole over �900 worth of jewellery, clothing and games.

Three days later he was arrested, still with the boots which were the wrong size for him, on. Later police also discovered a fingerprint belonging to Sibley on the window where he broke in.

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The court heard this offence occurred just five days before he was due in front of Exeter magistrates for other matters and he already had convictions for 15 other offences.

Mitigating Gareth Evans said in the space of six months Sibley had accrued an unenviable list of previous offences but was now reunited with his parents and was committed to change. He had the opportunity of work with his father and the possibility of a college placement.

"This may be one of those cases where this defendant has been caught just in time to halt his offending spree," said Mr Evans.

He said Sibley had started taking drugs when he was 14 and that was out of control by the time he was 17. He had led a chaotic lifestyle, sometimes living rough and committing offences to feed his habit.

Sibley who at the time was of no fixed address pleaded guilty to burglary and was sent to youth custody for 10 months.

Passing sentence Recorder Michael Fitton QC told Sibley: "This was a particularly mean offence after someone you knew had allowed you to stay the night. The following day you went back and stolen over �900 worth of property. You should have had this dealt with at the same time as the 10 offences of burglary, theft handling stolen goods and fraud when you received a suspended sentence. You were immature and stupid but I will deal with you as though everything was being dealt with at the same time.

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