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Teenage burglar jailed for two years

A 18-year-old burglar who ransacked a woman's home while she slept, has been sent to a detention centre for two years.

John Buckley, 18, of Eden Avenue, Wayfield estate, Chatham, was described in court as a "prolific offender for one so young" with his previous convictions covering drug offences and dishonesty.

An accomplice, Ashley Ekwue, 19, from Earls Court, west London, was sentenced to three-and-a-half years' detention. It was the third time he had been convicted of burglary.

Both were convicted of burglary by a jury following a trial at Blackfriars Crown Court in London.

The court heard that Francesca Bell awoke to find three young men dressed in black surrounding her bed at her home in Fulham, west London.

The intruders ran off after she screamed for help. Buckley and Ekwue, were caught soon afterwards by police but the third burglar escaped.

They targeted the property after climbing over a garden wall and breaking in through a window at around 4am on June 7 last year.

After searching the downstairs rooms the thieves wandered into Miss Bell's bedroom.

Mr Recorder Kieran Coonan, QC, said: "Any burglary, but particularly this type, is a blight on people's lives.

"It causes untold distress, and sometimes takes victims a very long time to recover. Miss Bell must have been distressed and was probably terrified by what she saw when she woke up."

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