Drug addict burglar is jailed

A MAN who burgled houses in Ipswich and escaped with almost £9,000 of “precious” items was a drug addict, a court heard.Toby Bathe, formerly of Serpentine Road and St Clements Church Lane, committed all of the offences during a 10-day “spree” between August 27 and September 8 this year.

A MAN who burgled houses in Ipswich and escaped with almost £9,000 of “precious” items was a drug addict, a court heard.

Toby Bathe, formerly of Serpentine Road and St Clements Church Lane, committed all of the offences during a 10-day “spree” between August 27 and September 8 this year.

Jan Brewer prosecuting the 20 year old at Ipswich Crown Court, said he had burgled the houses while he was on a conditional discharge for two shoplifting offences which he committed in July.

She said Bathe had stolen jewellery, camcorders, a digital camera, a play station, credit cards and cash totalling £8,500 from houses including those in Trent Road, Murray Road, Badshaw Avenue and Henley Road.

He had caused untold damage to the houses when he forced open window and doors in an effort to get in.

The court heard that every householder returned home to find they had been ransacked by an intruder. One couple and their baby were asleep during the one night that Bathe decided to break in under the cover of darkness. They woke up to find their house in a mess and their property taken.

Most Read

Bathe pleaded guilty to five burglaries and asked for nine others to be taken into consideration. He admitted breaching his conditional discharge and failing to surrender to custody.

He also pleaded guilty to possessing a small quantity of cannabis.

Richard Kelly mitigating, said Bathe, originally from Swindon, had cut himself during the last burglary in Henley Road and forensic evidence had led to his arrest.

Bathe admitted to the police he had carried out other burglaries in the town and told them where. Mr Kelly said the spree of burglaries were committed at a particularly unhappy time in the defendant's life having consumed drugs from the age of 15 he found himself moving to Ipswich because he was doing work for people he described as gypsies.

Mr Kelly said: “He fell out with them and found himself homeless, he got in with a group of heavy drug users and he said these people showed him how to burgle houses so he could fund his raging crack cocaine and heroin habit.”

He added that Bathe was “ashamed” of his offending and had told his barrister “I hope the sentence I receive will make up for some of the pain I have caused”.

Mr Kelly said: “He knows he has left his victims with the memories of their properties being violated”.

Miss Recorder, Lindsay Davies, told Bathe: “You have caused a huge amount of distress and upset to the families involved.”

She sentenced him to a total of 18 months in a young offenders institution.