A Scarborough family whose home was burgled and car stolen by a local man who considers himself to have a “high profile” amongst youngsters in the town have been left traumatized.
The family, who live in a detached home in Hovingham Drive, cannot get over their fears of what might have been if one of them had woken and come face-to-face with the knife carrying intruders, York Crown Court was told.
Such has been the effect, particular on the wife and mother of the family, that they are considering moving for good from Scarborough.
When he appeared before the court, accepting that he faced a lengthy custodial sentence, Thomas Ireland, 20, was said to be now wanting to change his ways, and offering to meet with the family if it would make them feel better about what he had done.
Ireland, of Prospect Mount Road, appeared before the court for sentencing one charge each of burglary, aggravated vehicle taking, driving whilst disqualified and without insurance.
Alongside him in the dock was 19-year-old Dean Jones, of Herdborough Road, who had earlier admitted one charge each of burglary and aggravated vehicle taking.
Nick Adlington, prosecuting, told how the pair had targeted the house in the early hours of March 21, this year, because of its size and the fact that it has a long drive, believing that there would be cash and other items to be taken.
The court heard that the burglars spent some time searching the house whilst the occupiers, a husband and wife, their son and his girlfriend, slept.
They selected several items, including a 50inch TV, a German Iron Cross medal and a watch, together with the keys to the wife’s car, one of the pair also picking up a knife from the kitchen and carrying it around before dumping it in the garden.
CCTV cameras in the town then recorded the £7,800 car being driven around the area for up to two hours, with Ireland at the wheel, before it was eventually crashed and written off on Marine Drive.
In a Victim Impact Statement before the court the householder’s wife explained the psychological effects the crimes had had on the family, she herself no longer feeling unable to return home alone to an empty house.
The court heard that Jones has a relatively minor criminal record, but Ireland has 50 offences to his name, including burglary, aggravated vehicle taking and assaults.
Trisha Doherty, mitigating on behalf of Ireland, said that her client “considered himself as having a high profile amongst youngsters in Scarborough”, but now realizes that this was “foolish” and that, if he carried on, he would be spending most of his life behind bars.
Adding that because of his interest in cars, reflected in his offending history, Mrs Doherty said that Ireland was now considering training as a motor mechanic.
For Jones, Taryn Turner said that he had not had the best start in life, his father dying when his son was 10 and his mother, who had then moved her family to Scarborough to get away from “gang-run” streets, herself passing away when Jones was 16.
The father of a 12-month old daughter, Jones was said to be at risk from the impact of a custodial sentence, his first ever, because he would be mixing with more experienced criminals.
Ireland was sentenced to 39 months in a Young Offenders Institute and Jones to 16 months, both also being disqualified from driving, Ireland for two years and Jones for 12 months.