Birthday burglar vows to go straight after jail for stealing neighbour's TV
An Ipswich man who burgled his next door neighbour's home while the victim was still in the property has been jailed for three years on his 35th birthday.
Marcel Bagley appeared at Ipswich Crown Court to admit two burglaries in his own neighbourhood within a week.
The court heard that the father-of-four intended to turn over a new leaf on the day of his 35th birthday by confessing to the burglaries and asking the sentencing judge to take into account a string of other thefts.
Prosecutor David Wilson said the first burglary took place on the night of Wednesday, August 28, when Bagley entered his elderly next door neighbour's Tern Road property and stole a television, remote control, cigarettes and tobacco.
Six days later, he entered a flat in nearby Magdalene Close, through a fanlight, and stole a £500 Xbox games console and a television bought for £3,000.
Simon Gladwell, mitigating, said Bagley was remorseful and determined to stop offending.
"It being his birthday, he has made the decision he wants to start a new life and put everything behind him," added Mr Gladwell, who explained Bagley had kicked a 12-year cocaine habit while on remand at Norwich prison.
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"He is optimistic and plans to carry on the good work he has done.
"He knows he has let people down, and is particularly sorry to those he stole from."
Judge Rupert Overbury said Bagley had a long record of thefts before the eight he asked to be considered when sentenced.
"You are a serial shoplifter; I dare say to feed your drug habit.
"I've been told you're sorry, and that you're going to turn over a new leaf for your own benefit and that of your four children.
"You have got yourself clean - that's good for your future in the community, which will be a little way off, because I'm satisfied the first burglary was targeted, and aggravated by it being at nighttime.
"You then gained access to the second property via a fanlight and stole a very expensive television and Xbox.
"The thefts you have asked to be taken into account are both aggravating and mitigating when it comes to sentence."
Bagley was handed a three-year sentence - half of which he will be required to serve behind bars before being released from prison on licence.