East Bergholt burglar with drug addiction stole boiler from Ipswich house

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court - Credit: Archant

A burglar who stole a boiler from an unoccupied house on a new development while struggling with drug addiction must pay more than £2,000 compensation.

Stewart Edwards, of Foxhall Fields, East Bergholt, targeted the Hopkins Homes property on the site of the former Suffolk Fire Service headquarters in Colchester Road, Ipswich.

The 38-year-old pleaded guilty to burglary and theft on September 20 last year when he appeared before South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court.

Prosecutor Lesla Small said at around 8pm a couple living nearby heard the sound of glass smashing.

One of the householders looked out and saw a man climbing out of an upper window of a house and disappear from view.

Police were called and the couple went over to the development where they noticed two males walking towards the exit of the site.

One of the men was carrying copper piping, the other a boiler unit.

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The men got into a vehicle and, realising they were being watched, drove off at speed in the direction of Heath Road.

The witness took the vehicle’s registration number.

The court heard Edwards’ blood was found at the point of entry on the first floor balcony of the burgled property.

His fingerprint was found on a broken piece of the boiler unit.

Ms Small said the damage to the property was estimated at £1,500 to £2,000.

The stolen Potterton combination boiler was said to have been worth between £800 and £1,000.

Edwards, representing himself, said at the time he was on drugs “pretty bad” and did not care whether he lived or died.

However, he also told the court he now been off heroin and crack cocaine for six months.

Edwards, a builder, apologised for what he had done and said he just wanted the matter dealt with so he could move forward with his life.

Magistrates sentenced Edwards to a 12-month community order with a 200-hour unpaid work requirement.

He must also pay £2,500 compensation for the damage and the stolen boiler.