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Teenager jailed for burglaries
8:40am Monday 2nd September 2013 in News
A TEENAGER who burgled two houses a few days apart while the occupants slept upstairs has been jailed for a year.
Luke Cookson was on bail for other matters when he broke into properties in Cross Street and Eastcott Road, stealing computers and a bike over a few days in May.
And when the 18-year-old’s flat was searched officers found the proceeds from two other burglaries.
Claire Marlow, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court how the first of the break-ins took place in Eastcott Hill on May 16.
She said the householder woke in the morning to find a French door open and muddy footprints, which later matched Cookson's, in the kitchen.
He noticed that a laptop computer was missing along with two wallets and passports, while other items taken from the house were found dropped in the garden.
A few days later, one of the residents of a shared house in Cross Street, got home in the early hours and was unsure as to whether his housemate was back.
Leaving the front door unlocked he went to bed and when the other man got back a few hours later he found it wide open.
Thinking a guest of his friend had left it like that when leaving, he thought nothing of it and locked up before going to bed.
But when he woke in the morning he found a valuable mountain bike with a trip computer on it and an iPod were missing.
The following day police raided Cookson’s home and found the proceeds from that break-in along with items taken from two other house burglaries.
A bike and computer taken from a house on Dixon Street and a TV and PlayStation Three games stolen from a property on Stanier Street were also recovered.
Cookson, of Aylesbury House, Aylesbury Street, in the town centre, admitted two counts of burglary.
He pleaded not guilty to three others and those charges were left to lie on the file.
Rob Ross, defending, said although Cookson was a young man with a poor record most of it was for petty offending.
He said his family is from Chiseldon, but he is banned from the area under the conditions of an anti-social behaviour order.
As a result he said he had been ‘sofa-surfing’ and as he had nowhere to go to he could not suggest anything but a custodial sentence.
When he is released from youth custody he said the authorities will help him with accommodation and he will have a chance to lead a law-abiding life.
Jailing Cookson for a year, Judge Douglas Field said: ”You were on bail when you committed these two dwelling house burglaries.
“Each of these there was someone in occupancy when you got in. Unfortunately, you found that the doors were unlocked – that is how you gained entry. It is inevitable that I must pass a custodial sentence.”