Homeowner watched burglary unfold from neighbouring property

PUBLISHED: 07:30 26 August 2020 | UPDATED: 14:56 26 August 2020

James Regan was jailed for more than two years for burglary at Ipswich Crown Court  Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

James Regan was jailed for more than two years for burglary at Ipswich Crown Court Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

Suffolk Constabulary

A prolific burglar was caught red-handed after being watched looting a home by the owner of the property.

James Regan was jailed for more than two years at Ipswich Crown Court after being convicted of his ninth burglary.

The 36-year-old was watched as he burgled a rental property in Crecent Road, Felixstowe, during the early evening of July 26.

Regan, of Shrub End Road, Colchester, appeared at court via video link from Chelmsford prison to admit the offence on Tuesday.

Karl Voltz, prosecuting, said the owner of the rental property was watching from their neighbouring residence as Regan went from room to room, switching on lights and stuffing a TV, drill and food into a bag on the kitchen table.

Police arrived soon afterwards and found Regan at the scene.

Officers also found a ladder propped against the rear wall of the property and leading up to an open bedroom window.

Regan accepted responsibilty in a police interview and indicated a guilty plea before magistrates two days later.

Mr Volz told the court Regan had eight previous convictions for burglary and was sentenced to 42 months’ prison in 2013, 33 months in 2015 and three years in 2017.

Shade Abiodun, for Regan, said there was little more she could present in way of mitigation than the content of a letter addressed to the court from his mother, who said her son’s mental health issues had not been helped by his struggle with drug addiction from a relatively young age.

Judge Emma Peters told Regan: “Burglary is a miserable offence.

“Victims live with feelings of intrusion and violation for years on end.

“It’s a really cruel, nasty offence, which this court takes very seriously.”

Judge Peters said she had taken into account Regan’s very poor criminal record of 38 convictions for 88 offences, but also acknowledged his early admission of guilt and the fact that he had not caused any unnecessary vandalism inside the property.

She told him: “Next time you’re released, stay off drugs and stay away from burglary, or you will spend your life going in and out of prison.”

Under the ‘three-strike’ rule for burglary, Regan was liable to be sentenced for a minimum of three years, reduced to 876 days just short of two years and five months as a result of his early guilty plea.

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