Burglar Christopher Bushby attacked householder Gaynor Drowley in Maidstone raid
Christopher Bushby, left,
and Craig Mills, burgled a home in Maidstone
by Keith Hunt
A thug who knocked over a terrified woman and grabbed her
handbag after she disturbed him and another man burgling her house
has been jailed for four years.
Christopher Bushby and Craig Mills were leaving the house in
Maidstone with up to £5,000 of property when Gaynor Drowley
Instead of fleeing, 22-year-old Bushby confronted the victim and
knocked her to the ground as he snatched her handbag.
Prosecutor Tom Dunn said as Miss Drowley tried to get up
"It must have been quite a horrendous and terrifying experience for her. It is no surprise to hear her describe her fear and panic..." – Judge David Griffiths-Jones QC
, Bushby "growled in her
face" before fleeing. Mills, 38, scrambled around picking up stolen
items they had dropped.
Mr Dunn said property stolen from the house in Pilgrims Way
included jewellery of sentimental value, watches, games, cameras, a
laptop computer and mobile phone.
Mills was caught after he was linked to one of two cans of diet
Coca Cola stolen from the house.
Some of the property was recovered but not the sentimental
Miss Drowley was distressed and frightened about the incident
and it triggered memories of a gun being held to her head in a raid
when she worked in a bank.
"She feels her privacy has been violated," Mr Dunn said at
Maidstone Crown Court. "She talks of mental trauma and says: 'I
don't think these people realise the impact of their actions."
Bushby, of South Park Road, Maidstone, denied robbery and
burglary but was convicted. Mills, also of South Park Road,
admitted burglary and was jailed for two years.
Mills had 23 convictions for 52 offences, including burglary.
Bushby also had burglary convictions.
Christopher Bushby and
Craig Mills were jailed at Maidstone Crown Court
Keith Middleton, for Mills, said the former landscape gardener
had been told by another man he could "get an earner" by helping
commit the burglary. The man left before they broke into the
John Fitzgerald, for Bushby, said the father-of-three had now
admitted his guilt and shown remorse.
"There were three people there that day," he said. "He is
slightly aggrieved it should fall on his narrow shoulders."
Passing sentence, Judge David Griffith-Jones QC said: "As you
made your escape, Miss Drowley had the misfortune to be arriving
home and found herself confronted by the two of you.
"That in itself must have been quite a horrendous and terrifying
experience for her. It is no surprise to hear her describe her fear
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