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Gloucestershire Business News

Third strike and in prison for burglary

A security app delivered the third strike which saw a burglar jailed for 27 months after a break-in at a Cotswold village.

Ray Walton, 45, of Swindon Road, Cheltenham, was caught on CCTV breaking in to the house in Hazleton, near Northleach, in November.

Gloucester Crown Court heard an app sent the image to the home owner Mark Hughes and alerted him to the fact his burglar alarm going off.

Prosecutor Alex Daymond said: "Mr Hughes raced back to find the back door broken and muddy footprints on the stairs. He also discovered significant items of jewellery had gone missing from the bedroom."

Police traced a silver pick-up truck which had been seen parked in the driveway to Walton, who initially denied burgling the house only to later admit the charge.

The court was told Walton was a 'three-strike' burglar liable to a mandatory minimum jail term as he has committed domestic burglaries in 2007 and 2011.

On this occasion he stole two gold/diamond rings, two watches, a bracelet and other jewellery to the value of £1,140.

Susan Cavender, defending, said Walton's first conviction had been to pay back a drug debt and the latest incident was because he had been thrown out of the family home the day before.

She said: "Walton regrets his behaviour and wishes he could turn the clock back. He readily admits making this disastrous decision to burgle this house.

"He has offered to resurface the victim's driveway as a form of recompense."

She continued: "This is a man who has turned his life around and has gone straight. He made a dreadful decision that day. He is desperate to prove he can lead a law-abiding life."

"His actions have jeopardised everything he has built up over recent years."

Judge Ian Lawrie QC told Walton, who appeared via video link, he had no alternative than to impose an immediate prison due to the previous strikes.

He said: "Your actions have impacted on your victims and you have invaded the sanctity of their home.

"But what I find it hard to understand is that you were doing a good job, but when things went wrong you chose to revisit your old life by burgling a property."

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