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House-breaker put behind bars for two years

A HOUSE-breaker helped himself to items worth more than £1,000 when he raided a home in Accrington.

A HOUSE-breaker helped himself to items worth more than £1,000 when he raided a home in Accrington.

Burnley Crown Court heard how Marco Freeston, 32, took items of great sentimental value in the haul, including a gold locket with a picture of the victim's grandmother and a gold wedding ring belonging to her grandfather. He then sold them to buy heroin and cocaine.

Sentencing, Judge Stuart Baker told the defendant, who had 88 previous convictions, that he was a prolific offender and had a typical drug user's record. Prison was inevitable.

He said the defendant, who had been on a drug treatment and testing order when he offended, must have known the jewellery was beyond any financial value.

Freeston, of Royds Street, Accrington, admitted burglary in September and asked for four offences to be considered. He was jailed for two years after being committed for sentence by Hyndburn magistrates.

The court heard the victim returned to her home on Westwood Street, Accrington, and found glass in one of the doors smashed.

She discovered that, as well as the jewellery, property including a PlayStation, DVD player and digital camera had been taken.

Bloodstains had been left in the property and DNA testing matched it to the defendant. He was later arrested, admitted the break-in and said he had used screwdrivers to force entry into the house, during which he had cut himself.

Freeston told officers he had put all the stolen items in a sports bag and sold them to an unknown man in a pub for £100. The defendant had also struck at houses in Haslingden, as well as the Woodnook Kebab House and Aldi in Accrington.

David Traynor, defending, said Freeston accepted the court would be looking at custody. Claiming the defendant had shown remorse, he said Free-ston's solicitors had written to the police before the results of the forensic analysis and there had been no evidence to link the defendant with the two other house burglaries. The kebab house raid was not even reported to police.

Freeston had tried to get himself off drugs in the past, but had not been successful. He felt that while in prison he would be able to receive help to kick his habit.

The defendant did not have an enviable record but his offending had been slowing down since 1989.


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