Three strikes knife burglar jailed

First published in News The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter (Derwentside & Tyneside)

A BURGLAR who carried a 12-inch knife to a daytime burglary at an elderly couple’s house has been jailed.

Carl Kelly also broke into student digs in Durham City centre, the night after two young people moved into their accommodation at the start of the university term.

The 24-year-old was jailed for three years after Durham Crown Court heard he was a ‘three strikes’ burglar and custody was mandatory.

The court heard he had been convicted of two similar offences and was the subject of a 50 week suspended sentence for burglary when the raids were carried out.

No property was stolen from either house, but Kelly smashed the windows and left fingerprints at scene, which led to his arrest.

The knife was found by the victim on the couple’s kitchen table.

Lynsey Colling, prosecuting, said: “Although nothing was stolen they were left feeling anxious and concerned.”

Kelly burgled the couple’s house in Cunningham Place, Gilesgate, on September 29, and the students in Claypath the following day.

He entered guilty pleas to two charges of burglary at a previous hearing.

Mitigating, Tony Davis, said Kelly’s crimes were committed to fuel his amphetamine addiction.

He said: “He is a young man who throws himself at the mercy of the court and demonstrates his remorse by his early guilty pleas.”

As well as three years for the two offences, Recorder Andrew Sutcliffe QC said Kelly, of Churchill Square, Gilesgate, must serve 20 weeks of his suspended sentence for offending while it was in place.

He said: “The court has no option but to impose a custodial sentence.”

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