Man who stole over £1,000 in power tools jailed for 876 days

Clifford Graham

Clifford Graham has been jailed for more than two years after stealing more than £1,000 worth of power tools from an Ipswich home. - Credit: Suffolk Constabulary

A career criminal who stole power tools worth more than £1,000 during a burglary at a house in Ipswich has been jailed after a court heard that he had broken into 20 other homes over the last four decades.

Clifford Graham, who was wearing a backpack, was seen acting suspiciously by ringing the doorbell and looking through the windows of the premises in Anglesea Road on Easter Monday, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

When the homeowners returned to the property they found a number of power tools and a wallet containing a driving licence were missing.

Police officers found Graham’s fingerprint on the front door and CCTV footage showed him making a telephone call to his accomplice while he was at the property and then leaving the stolen items nearby., said Mark Hunsley, prosecuting.

He had then beckoned to his co-defendant, who admitted handling stolen goods and received a suspended sentence, to come over.

Mr Hunsley said that following the burglary Graham’s co-defendant had sent out messages advertising the power tools for sale.

The court heard that all the tools were recovered.

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The court heard that Graham had 20 previous convictions for house burglaries dating back to 1981 with his last burglary conviction being in 2018 when he was jailed for 45 months.

Graham, 57, of Harwood Avenue, Hornchurch, admitted burglary at the house in Anglesea Road and was jailed for 876 days.

Judge Emma Peters said she had to sentence him to a mandatory jail term of three years less credit for his guilty plea because of his previous convictions for house burglaries.

Peter Spary for Graham said his client was a career criminal with a poor record for house burglaries.

He said Clifford had been out of prison for ten months when he committed the burglary at a time when he was homeless and had started using heroin.

After the sentencing hearing DC Jared Fortune said: “After years of habitually committing burglaries, perhaps this time Mr Graham will learn his lesson.” 

“I particularly commend the work of PC Amie Berry for rigorously obtaining key CCTV footage and also for identifying Graham's co-defendant which led to the discovery of the stolen power tools.