Heroin addict burglar jailed for four years

IPSWICH: A burglar who broke into the homes of a disabled Ipswich man and a couple with young children has been jailed for four years.

The victim of the first burglary was sleeping in a downstairs room at his home in Heatherhayes while recovering from a stroke, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

The pensioner had woken up during the night in February this year to find a light being shone in his face and saw a hooded man standing near his bed, said Michael Crimp, prosecuting.

Because of his ill health and lack of mobility, the man was unable to respond in any way and it was not until his wife came downstairs the next morning and found the back door open and her purse missing they realised they had been burgled.

Mr Crimp said the man had been left feeling frustrated and upset after the burglary because he had been unable to do anything.

Less than two weeks later a couple who live with their two young children in Woodville Road, Ipswich, woke in the early hours of the morning to find that their home had been broken into and their car stolen.

Mr Crimp said the police had been alerted after 34-year-old Mark Shinners was seen acting suspiciously in the area and when officers arrived they had followed a Renault Scenic being driven by him.

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When the car was stopped, Shinners had run off, but was later arrested a few streets away, said Mr Crimp.

He said that items worth �1,000 had been stolen during the burglary and the Renault Scenic, which was worth �3,000 was returned to the couple undamaged.

Shinners, of Pleasant Row, Ipswich, admitted two offences of burglary, attempted burglary at a house in Montgomery Road, Ipswich, and handling stolen goods. He asked for a further offence of burglary to be considered.

Jailing him for four years, Judge Peter Fenn said Shinners had been a heroin addict for a very long time and had mental health problems for which he was receiving medication.

He said Shinners, who had been released from prison towards the end of last year, had got himself clean of drugs, but had drifted back into drug use at the time of the burglaries in February.

Joanne Eley, for Shinners, said that following his release from prison he had no accommodation and was effectively homeless.

“He fell back on to heroin and needed to steal,” said Miss Eley. She said he apologised to the occupiers of the homes he burgled.