Published: 14:51, 23 April 2019
| Updated: 15:21, 23 April 2019
A “professional burglar” who swiped Corinthian-style silver candlesticks and expensive antiques from a woman’s home has been jailed.
Daniel Locke, 19, was traced after leaving a blood stain after raiding a home in Victoria Road, Kingsdown, near Deal.
Judge James O'Mahony said the silverware and other items, costing to the tune of £5,000, were targeted because they could “easily be knocked out on the black market.”
He said: “This was a professional burglary where they knew what they were taking.
“You chose a rural place thus reduced the risk of detection.
“The items were undoubtedly much loved by the owner no doubt collected over the years.
“It was stuff that you could easily be knocked out on the black market.
“Taking all of this into account this offence is so serious that immediate custody is inevitable.”
Locke, of Jennifer Gardens in Margate, became visibly upset during prosecutor Ian Foinette’s summing up.
The barrister told Canterbury Crown Court on Tuesday how a neighbour alerted police after a routine check on the detached bungalow.
“(The neighbour) saw a curtain flapping about in the breeze.
“They found out it had been ransacked and saw various items spread across the premises.
“Police were called and the owner turned up.
“The crime team noticed a red mark on a chest of drawers in the bedroom.
“When it was swabbed it came back as matching the defendant’s DNA,” he said.
Among the items taken were Corinthian style silver candlesticks, a solid silver tray and art deco solid silver coffee pot.
A large silver soup ladle, small spoons, napkin rings, silver cruet set, coin collection and antique ivory elephant were also swiped.
"Not only did Locke violate the victim’s privacy, he caused significant damage to their property and stole items of sentimental value..." - DC Andrew Dale
Mitigating, Locke’s barrister argued her client was an immature 17-year-old at the time of the offence in December 2017 and he pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.
She added a brain injury following a hit and run in 2016 contributed to Locke’s impulsiveness and anger.
However no official evidence of the injury was presented to the court.
Locke’s previous history included theft, three counts of burglary and handling stolen goods, the court heard.
He was handed a 27-month prison sentence to be served at a Young Offender Institution.
Investigating Officer Detective Constable Andrew Dale said: "Burglary can have such a detrimental impact on people’s lives.
"Not only did Locke violate the victim’s privacy, he caused significant damage to their property and stole items of sentimental value.
"I hope his sentence sends a message to other criminals and helps to act as a deterrent to those who may be considering this type of criminality."