Ipswich: Burglar who was caught in the act by a woman of 77 has been jailed

Lee Hawkes

Lee Hawkes - Credit: Contributed

A burglar who carried out four break-ins in eight hours – including one at a flat belonging to a 77-year-old woman – has been locked up for four years.

Holywells Court, which offers sheltered accommodation in Ipswich.

Holywells Court, which offers sheltered accommodation in Ipswich. - Credit: Contributed

Lee Hawkes entered a flat in a sheltered housing complex at Holywells Court, Felix Road, while the occupant was in another part of the building, and stole a camera containing irreplaceable pictures, a savings tin, medication and a mobile phone, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

When the woman returned to her flat she found her front door, which she had left unlocked, was locked and when she looked through the letterbox she saw Hawkes.

Matthew Sorel-Cameron, prosecuting, said the woman asked Hawkes what he was doing and he had run off out of the back door.

Mr Sorel-Cameron said the burglary happened during the evening of April 17 and within the next eight hours Hawkes broke into three sheds in nearby Heather Avenue and Kings Avenue, causing more than £100 damage.

Hawkes, 27, of Station Street, Ipswich, admitted four offences of burglary and asked for five burglaries at commercial premises and one dwelling house burglary to be considered.

Mr Sorel-Cameron said that a total of £3,000 was stolen during the burglaries Hawkes had asked to be taken into consideration.

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The court heard that Hawkes had been jailed for three years in 2010 after admitting more than 20 burglaries.

Richard Wood, representing, Hawkes, said that after his release from prison he had found work and had stayed off drugs for nearly a year until he was laid off from his job.

Speaking after the case, borough councillor John Mowles, housing portfolio-holder, said: “This is fortunately a very rare occurrence.

“I want to reassure all our sheltered scheme residents that their security and wellbeing is of paramount importance to us.”

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