House burgled while widow slept upstairs

9:20am Tuesday 13th November 2012

A BURGLAR who raided the home of an 84-year-old widow as she slept in her bed has been jailed for three years and four months.

During the raid Lee Milne, of Rosedale Road, Park South, who was on early release from prison, took a handbag containing a photograph of the victim’s late husband in his RAF uniform.

The 21-year-old, who the Judge Douglas Field said was ‘getting a reputation towards being a professional burglar’, also carried out a string of other raids.

Tessa Hingston, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court Milne targeted two houses on the same night in the summer.

She said he got in to the home of the widow in Upfield, Liden, through an insecure back door on Monday, August 27 as she slept upstairs.

Once inside he took two handbags containing about £60 in cash along with the treasured services photograph, as well as a bottle of soft drink.

Miss Hingston said on the same night he broke into a house on nearby Okebourne Park, but left empty handed. At the scene of the second raid, police found the empty drinks bottle which was found to have Milne’s DNA on it.

When he was questioned he initially denied he had carried out the offences, but later admitted what he had done.

Milne pleaded guilty to two counts of burglary and asked for 12 more offences, eight of which were house breaks, to be taken into consideration.

He was jailed for two years and five months in June last year and was released from prison on February 29 In July 2010 he was jailed for nine months for burglary having already been convicted for similar offences in March 2009.

Martin Wiggins, defending, said: “Mr Milne is utterly resigned to the inevitable consequences of a custodial sentence.”

He said his client had fallen back into drug use and was candid enough with the police to show them where other offences took place.

Jailing him, the judge said: “Lee Milne, you are still only 21 and you are getting a reputation towards being a professional burglar.

“You were sentenced by this court on a prescribed minimum sentence after discount of 29 months.

“You came out on February 29 and on August 27 you have committed these two further offences of burglary.

“The really serious one was in Upfield because your victim, aged 84 and a widow, was upstairs asleep.

“You broke into her property, you took handbags and they had valuable contents of great sentimental value. I have heard about this photograph of her deceased husband.

“Again this sentence must be the prescribed minimum term, and I am reminded it is a minimum.

“I am worried that you are still only 21 so I don’t intent to impose a sentence of imprisonment that will crush you.

“But it has, in my judgement, to keep you out of circulation to give the public some protection but give you a chance to rehabilitate yourself.”

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