Burglar who climbed through loft space of adjoining Ipswich homes must pay compensation

Ranelagh Road in Ipswich. Picture: JASON NOBLE

Ranelagh Road in Ipswich. Picture: JASON NOBLE - Credit: Archant

A burglar who stole from his next door neighbour after climbing through a gap in the loft of his Ranelagh Road home has walked free from court.

The owner of the burgled premises, in Ranelagh Road, Ipswich, initially couldn’t work out how the burglar got into his home as there was no sign of a break in, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

It was then discovered that there was a gap in the dividing wall which separated his loft space from the loft of the adjoining property, which had been converted into four bedsits, said Joe Bird, prosecuting.

One of the items stolen during the burglary was found in the neighbouring loft space and Stephen Halls was arrested after other items stolen during the burglary were found in his bedsit.

When police checked Halls’ account at a second hand shop in the town they found he had sold items matching the description of property stolen during the burglary through the shop, said Mr Bird.

Halls, 27, admitted burglary between December 2016 and January this year and was given an eight month prison sentence suspended for 18 months.

He was also given a rehabilitation activity requirement and ordered to pay £240 compensation at the rate of £40 a month to the victim of the burglary.

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Sentencing him, Judge John Devaux said some of the stolen property had been recovered.

Mr Bird told the court that the victim of the burglary discovered property was missing from his house when he returned home in January after leaving the property locked and secure.

“It wasn’t quite clear how the burglar had got in,” said Mr Bird.

Stolen items included clothes, toys, shoes and games consoles and games which had been stored in the loft.

Mr Bird said the games consoles and games were part of a large collection and it wasn’t clear how many games were actually stolen.

After his arrest Halls claimed he had accidentally strayed into his neighbour’s loft space.

Jude Durr, representing Halls, said his client hadn’t entered the living area of the property.