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Home Maidstone News Article
A mother was shocked to return home with her children and find four teenagers breaking in, a court heard.
Faye Wright ran from her car and shouted at one of the intruders as he climbed out of the kitchen window: “Get out.”
She called the police as they fled and arrests were made near the scene of the burglary at Natal Cottages, Chart Sutton, soon afterwards.
Now two of the teenagers, Charlie O’Hara, 18, and 19-year-old James MacDonald will be spending Christmas behind bars. The other two, aged 15 and 17, walked free.
O’Hara, of Courtnay Road, Tovil, and MacDonald, of Postley Road, Maidstone, were sentenced to 15 months youth custody.
The other youths, who cannot be identified, were sentenced to youth rehabilitation orders with “intensive supervision and surveillance” for two years.
They will be subject to a curfew from 7pm to 7am for four months.
"the property taken was of sentimental value. it was not just an address, it was someone’s home" – judge philip st john-stevensIestyn Morgan, prosecuting, told Maidstone Crown Court Mrs Wright arrived at her home at about 12.15pm on February 2 this year to see a head “popping out” from the rear of the house.
She saw a second intruder and, leaving her children in the car, she ran to the back garden where one of the other teenagers was climbing out of the window.
Mr Morgan said property worth over £3,900, including equipment containing irreplaceable photographs of sentimental value, was taken. Only a £1,200 Gucci watch was recovered.
A mobile telephone found contained calls which suggested the 17-year-old was acting as a look-out. The watch was found at the home of his sister. She and their mother were cautioned.
Mrs Wright told in an impact statement of her horror at finding the burglary in progress.
She said she was fearful of going back to the house and her daughter was scared to be in her own home.
“That is the seriousness and harm of burglary,” said Judge Philip St John-Stevens.
“The property taken was of sentimental value. It was not just an address, it was someone’s home.
“The seriousness is not the value of property taken, it is an invasion of someone’s home and the fear thereafter of living in that home.”
He told O’Hara and MacDonald: “It must be a term of custody.”
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