Teenager involved in burglary which 'trashed' home must do unpaid work

Ipswich crown court with road sign

Justin Luke was handed unpaid work at Ipswich Crown Court - Credit: Archant

A 19-year-old who was one of four people who burgled a house in Ipswich has been handed 120 hours of unpaid work. 

Justin Luke, of Chevallier Street, Ipswich, appeared at Ipswich Crown Court for sentencing on Wednesday having previously pleaded guilty to burglary at his plea and trial preparation hearing. 

Luke and three others were responsible for the burglary of a home in Fuchsia Lane, Ipswich, some time between 3pm on February 8 and 2.30pm on February 9, 2020, Karl Volz, prosecuting, told the court.

When the victim got home on February 9, she discovered a "very messy search", with cupboards opened and drawers upside down, Mr Volz said. 

Upstairs in the property had been "trashed" with items strewn everywhere, the court heard. 

Various electrical items, including a laptop, iPad, and Playstation were stolen from the property. 

Luke then returned many of the items in a rucksack to another person, who took them to the police, the court heard. 

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In police interview, Luke read a pre-prepared statement to officers, in which he admitted going to the property, and was told one of the gang knew the person who lived there. 

Mr Volz said a youth, who cannot be named due to his age, has already been sentenced to a referral order for the burglary, while no charges were brought against two other people. 

Steven Dyble, mitigating, said Luke showed "genuine remorse" for the offence. 

Mr Dyble said Luke had managed to stay out of trouble for two years since the offence in 2020. 

Sentencing Luke on Wednesday, Recorder Jeremy Benson QC said burglaries can have a "devastating effect" on victims. 

But Recorder Benson said he was satisfied that Luke was not a "leading player" in the incident, and was just 17 at the time of the offence. 

He added that there was a "good prospect" of rehabilitation with assistance and support. 

Luke was handed an 18-month community order, with 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days. 

He was also ordered to undertake 120 hours of unpaid work. No court costs or compensation was awarded.