A burglar who “terrified” a pregnant woman and her two children after breaking in their house has been jailed.
Luke Smith, 21, entered the two-bedroom property in Main Street, Burtswick, East Yorkshire, stealing £7 in change and a box of fireworks valued at almost £200.
The burglar and an unidentified accomplice escaped from the house after the homeowner caught one of them staring at her through the kitchen door as she reviewed CCTV on her phone, Hull Live reports.
Smith appeared at Hull Crown Court on Christmas Eve to be sentenced for one count of domestic burglary.
Prosecuting barrister Phillip Evans told the court: “As she was looking at the footage she became aware of a person stood in her kitchen, looking at her through the kitchen door.
“She phoned her partner and this person left. She returned to reviewing the footage and saw two people, one approaching the conservatory and the other person keeping watch.
“Further footage showed the second man come in through the kitchen door and take £7 in change from the top of fridge and a box of fireworks valued at £179.
“In fact one of the men, becoming aware he was being filmed, tried to pull the camera away from the wall before walking out.”
In a statement, the victim says that she suffered a panic attack as she watched the CCTV footage and now no longer feels safe in her own home.
Mr Evans said: “She says quite simply the incident terrified her. She had a panic attack as she was watching the footage. This is not the first time she has been burgled.
“She has two young children. She is pregnant. The fireworks needed replacing as they were for a New Year’s Eve celebration.
“She will be moving address to a more secure property. She has an autistic son who is fully aware of what took place and he is having difficulty coming to terms with those events.
“She herself has mental health challenges and they are made worse by having experienced this burglary.”
Smith also appeared in the dock to be sentenced for three counts of theft that he carried out at Applegreen Service Station in Hedon.
The first offence took place on May 14 where Smith was spotted walking out carrying a display stand of electronic devices, taking a total of £115.87 worth of items.
On October 17, Smith stole £5 worth of food from the same garage before returning to steal a box of chocolates worth £32 on November 8.
He also appeared in court for one count of interfering with a motor vehicle on October 12.
Defence barrister Mark Savage told the court that the cause of Smith’s offending was down to his addiction to cocaine and that he now has a fear of the effects of the drug after seeing first-hand what it can cause.
Mr Savage said: “He has looked at others around him who were much more addicted to the drug than he and it is fair to say it terrifies him.
“There is no doubt that on his behalf and that the revulsion of his actions in realising there were children in that property. He says ‘I am disgusted with myself’.
“His remorse is sincere but the commitment he has shown since in prison and the fear of others in prison has hit him hard.
“He knows he is before the courts to be punished. He accepts he has to be responsible for his actions.
“He is enjoying being drug-free. What he can’t do is take back what he has done. He assures the court that this is not a mistake he will make again.”
Judge Mark Bury sentenced Smith to two years in prison.
Addressing Smith, Judge Bury said: “I accept what’s been said by Mr Savage that the route cause is your cocaine addiction and now you have been in custody you have managed to get clean and you can see your offending for what it is.
“You have a number of family members who support you and you are well regarded when you are not on drugs and so it is very important to remember that.
“You are only 21, you have got your life ahead of you and if you keep the resolve to stay off drugs then you might make something of yourself.
“But, for the burglary I cannot overlook that there has to be an immediate sentence of imprisonment.”
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