Burglar Daniel Parsonage broke into a home in Kings Hill through a dog flap
A dog flap, similar to the one where the burglary took place
An odd-job man who broke into a former employer's home through a dog flap may feel he has been given rough justice after being jailed for five years.
Daniel Parsonage was collared for three burglaries - two at the same address - at the homes of people he had worked for.
Maidstone Crown Court heard he stole thousands of pounds worth of jewellery, as well as 32 pieces of silver cutlery from a complete set worth £50,000, which was then sold on to pawnbrokers.
But police managed to sniff out the 26-year-old with ease because he had registered his details with the shops.
Father-of-three Parsonage, of Hectorage Road, Tonbridge, pleaded guilty to three charges of burglary.
The householders had noticed their belongings going missing over a period of time but were said to be mystified as to how and when, explained prosecutor Nicholas Hall.
He said it was not until May this year when Parsonage broke into one of the homes in Bramley Way, Kings Hill, through a dog flap that the finger of suspicion was pointed at him.
It was then discovered he had been stealing from the same house between August 31 and September 26 last year, as well as a neighbouring property he worked at in Wilkinson Place between May and September that same year.
Jailing him, Judge Martin Joy said each break-in was so serious that non-custodial sentences could not be justified.
He also ordered that prison terms of 12 months, 18 months and 30 months should run consecutively, making a total of five years.
"All burglary offences are serious, not least because they cause huge distress and feelings of insecurity to the victims but also because they cause a sense of insecurity to those who hear about them," remarked Judge Joy.
Parsonage had worked at both homes, carrying out jobs inside and outside the properties.
Rebecca Helliwell, defending, said Parsonage had gone to the address in Bramley Way in May this year to repay the owner money he had borrowed on an earlier occasion.
She said he had no intention of breaking in, and also described the earlier burglaries as opportunistic.
Miss Helliwell added that Parsonage, whose children are aged seven, five and three, had not committed the burglaries to live an extravagant lifestyle.
"It was to put food on the table and to give money to his former partner for the care of their children," she remarked.
She also told the court that Parsonage had received much less money than the stolen goods were worth.
The court was told Parsonage gave the police no help in tracing the goods and only some of the jewellery, much of it said to have great sentimental value, has been recovered.
The prosecution will now decide within two weeks whether it will pursue a proceeds of crime hearing.
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