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Home Dartford News Article
A drug addict who broke into a house at night while a family slept and stole a car from outside has been jailed for 21 months.
William Hickey also tried to withdraw cash using a bank card he stole in the burglary at the house in Salmon Road, Dartford.
Maidstone Crown Court heard child minder Helen Libby left her home secure when she and her family went to bed on September 2 this year.
But the next morning she found the front door was open and her handbag containing her car keys, £50 and bank card was missing.
When she went outside she saw that her Vauxhall Zafira had been stolen.
Iestyn Morgan, prosecuting, said Hickey twice tried unsuccessfully to use the bank card to get cash at a supermarket.
Fingerprints left on the car found five days later led police to Hickey.
The 30-year-old repeat offender, of Dunlop Close, Dartford, admitted burglary, theft and two fraud offences.
He had 18 convictions for 33 offences including nine non-house burglaries and in 2004 he was jailed for four-and-a-half years for robbery.
John Fitzgerald, defending, said Hickey had “grasped the nettle and pleaded guilty”.
He suffered from drug addiction and was disappointed to find himself back in trouble, having moved to Dartford from south east London where his associates were.
“He had gone for some time without offending and drugs,” said Mr Fitzgerald. “He made the foolish decision to take drugs moderately.
He appreciates how inappropriate his criminal behaviour is.
“For all of his evil ways, burglary of a house is a step too far. He has never before burgled a house.”
Mr Fitzgerald asked the court to consider whether a suspended sentence was a constructive course.
But Judge Charles Macdonald QC told Hickey: “You are an acquisitive recidivist of some magnitude. The presence of victims in the household make it a greater harm case. There must be a custodial sentence.”
Investigating officer Detective Constable Bill Looker said: "Hickey cared little for the impact his actions had on the family who were asleep upstairs when he broke into their home in the early hours of the morning.
"We were able to get an idea of what happened that day through CCTV and by tracking the vehicle on number plate recognition cameras.
"When we found the stolen car, forensic specialists at Kent Police were able to extract the one vital piece of evidence that told us Hickey was responsible for these offences.
"Burglary is such an intrusive crime and I’ve no doubt the family would have suffered sleepless nights after having gone through the ordeal that Hickey put them through.
"The sentencing reflects the seriousness of the crime and goes to show that Kent Police will use all available tools to track down offenders and put them before the courts."
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