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Neil Burrows jailed for burglary at Maidstone Crown Court after targeting properties in Wilderness Mount, Sevenoaks, and Heaverham Road, Seal

21 February 2014
by James Walker

Neil Burrows

Neil Burrows

A decorator who stole designer watches and cash to pay his ex-girlfriend’s rent has been jailed for three years and eight months.

Neil Burrows, formerly of Blanmerle Road in Eltham,  was employed as a painter at two separate properties in the Sevenoaks area but used his position to pilfer cash and thousands of pounds worth of watches.

He pleaded guilty to two charges of burglary at Maidstone Crown Court on Wednesday, February 19 and told police all the watches were sold for just £2,000 as he needed money to pay an ex-girlfriend’s rent.

The 47-year-old first targeted a property in Wilderness Mount, where he worked in 2012.

The owner of the house had entrusted him with the keys and on March 22 the following year returned home to find three Rolex, Cartier and Breitling watches missing from a bedroom.

There were no signs of forced entry and the finger of suspicion pointed at Burrows, who had also previously been given entry codes to the premises.

Burrows had also been employed as a painter at a workshop in Seal, off Heaverham Road.

Between February 18 and 25 last year, while his employer was on holiday, Burrows used a key to enter the premises and steal £700 from an envelope when he was not scheduled to be working.

A car driven by Burrows was seen in both areas around the time of each offence.

Officers arrested the defendant confessed to using keys and access codes in order to steal the watches.

Burrows appeared at Maidstone Crown Court on Wednesday, February 19 after previously pleading guilty to two charges of burglary.  

Leading the investigation was Detective Constable Andrew Julier, who said: “Burrows’ victims allowed him access to their properties as they thought they could trust him.

“However, he repaid their trust by burgling their homes and properties.

“The judge has taken into the account that these offences involved a breach of trust and considered this an aggravating feature of this case.

“This sentence sends out a strong message to anyone thinking about stealing that the consequences for their actions will be severe.”

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