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Home   Sheerness   News   Article

Jailbreak burglar Martin Jones back behind bars after walking out of HMP Standford Hill and burgling Sittingbourne home

20 December 2013
by Keith Hunt

Martin Jones has been jailed for four years

Martin Jones has been jailed for four years

A "career burglar" broke into a home after he walked out of an open prison on Sheppey and was at large for 14 months.

Martin Jones was serving a seven-year sentence for burglaries when he disappeared from HMP Standford Hill, in Eastchurch, on July 9, 2012.

The 37-year-old criminal went to stay with friends and was not arrested and returned to jail until September 12, 2013.

In the meantime he broke into the home of mother Michelle Parker in London Road, Sittingbourne, by throwing a brick through a window to gain entry.

Maidstone Crown Court heard Jones went through the house systematically as he made an untidy search and put property - including jewellery with sentimental value - into bin bags.

Police found Jones' fingerprints on a bin bag and he was eventually arrested.

The victim said in an impact statement she had since been forced to turn her home into "Fort Knox".

Jones, of no fixed address, had been jailed for seven years in April 2010 and still had about 15 months left to serve when he fled from the category D prison.

He was jailed for four years after admitting escape and burglary.

Andrew Lewis, defending, said Jones walked out of Standford Hill because he had returned one day with something he should not have had and feared being sent to a more secure prison.

"He went to stay with friends and simply kept his head down," he said. "He couldn't face the thought of going back to prison, and a rather long period went by.

"The burglary happened because he had no way of earning money or claiming benefits. He succumbed to temptation to do what he knew only too well."

A wing at Standford Hill open prison in Eastchurch on Sheppey

A wing at Standford Hill open prison in Eastchurch on Sheppey

Judge Martin Joy told Jones: "Burglary is an extremely unpleasant offence. It is a complete invasion of householders and family. It causes enormous distress and creates feelings of insecurity.

"You have got an enormous record for burglary and dishonesty. You have been described as a career burglar."

"Burglary is an extremely unpleasant offence. It is a complete invasion of householders and family..." - Judge Martin Joy

Sentencing Jones to four years for burglary and one year concurrent for escape, the judge said the sentence would be consecutive to the term already being served, which was due to end in December 2014.

DC Ian Mather, from Kent Police, said: "If he had just served out his sentence at HMP Standford Hill, rather than absconding and going on to commit this burglary, he may have found himself out of prison and able to start a new life.
 
"Instead, he has ended up back behind bars and facing several more years there.
 
"His burglary victim felt violated and traumatised at having her home torn apart by Jones when he casually smashed his way inside to see what high-value items he could steal.
 
"Although it is not typically a violent crime, burglary can shatter lives and leave people feeling afraid in their own homes. This is something Kent Police does not and will not tolerate."

Click here for more news from Sheerness.

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