Burglar who raided a Denbigh widow's retirement bungalow has been spared custody


Staff reporter (Denbighshire Free)

A burglar who raided an widow's retirement bungalow in Denbigh has been spared prison.

Electrical appliances and other items valued at more than £900 had been stolen during the burglary, Mold Crown Court was told.

In addition the tools of a tradesman working at the bungalow had been stolen and they were valued at more than £470, prosecuting barrister Ffion Tomos explained.

Mathew Erangey, 24, of Myddleton Avenue in Denbigh, was arrested after a DNA hit from his blood left at the scene.

He claimed that he had been forced into it by drug dealers.

Erangey said that he and his family had been threatened and his home would possibly be burned if he did not do as he was told.

He said he was directed to go to the bungalow to take part in the burglary and to attend the following morning to help load the stolen property onto a vehicle.

But his explanation made his position worse – because it was then clear that the burglary was planned and that he was part of a gang, both aggravating features.

However he escaped immediate custody.

He was given a ten month prison sentence suspended for 18 months and he was placed on rehabilitation.

The defendant was also placed on a three month tagged curfew to ensure that he remains indoors between 8pm and 7am.

The judge, Mr Recorder Paul Hopkins QC ordered him to pay £500 compensation to the bungalow owner and £300 compensation to the tradeswoman who discovered the burglary.

He warned that the defendant would not be given another chance.

The burglary, he said, had a significant effect on the victim.

It was committed at night when he was already on a community order.

But he had pleaded guilty, was remorseful, he had previous convictions but none for burglary, and he was the prime carer for his grandfather.

The defendant came from a responsible and caring family and he had never been to custody before.

On remand he had served the equivalent of a two month prison sentence which had given him a taste of what awaited him if he offended again.

In addition, he was no longer subject to the pernicious effect of drugs.

In a victim impact statement, Mrs Margaret Parry said that the property was being renovated ready for retirement.

She had recently lost her husband and to think that someone had broken in had made her feel anxious and scared.

Mrs Parry said that she would living at the bungalow by herself and she was now having second thoughts about moving in.

She did not know if she could feel safe there anymore.

Defending barrister James Coutts said that the defendant would like to apologise to the victim.

He had shown genuine remorse for what he had done.

The defendant had been candid and there should be a distinction between the defendant and the person who organised it, he said.

He had played a subordinate role within the gang.

The court heard that in interview, the defendant initially denied burglary.

But he later said he owed a drugs debt and was told if he did not carry out the burglary his family home would be attacked, possibly burned, and his family would also be attacked.

He had been forced to take part in the burglary, carry items from the property to a nearby side street where they had been stored overnight, and he had to go back the following morning to help load them into a vehicle.

The defendant said that if he had not assisted then he would have been attacked.

He said the burglary had been planned five days earlier at a meeting with the people he owed money to for drugs and he had to take part because of alleged threats to himself and his family.

See full story in the Free Press

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