A FOURTH strike burglar is willing to meet the victim of his latest break-in, even though he has been made aware it will not help to reduce his sentence.

Durham Crown Court was told a woman living in Sunnybrow, near Willington, whose home was burgled by Gavin Lee Monaghan last year, would like to meet him under the restorative justice scheme.

Appearing via video link from Durham's nearby prison, Monaghan pleaded guilty to the offence, in which he stole a laptop and computer, costume jewellery, a phone and camera, on April 30.

The court heard that as he has previous house burglary convictions dating from 2009, 2011 and 2012, he is now a “fourth strike” offender and will be subject to the mandatory three-year sentence, less 20-per cent deduction for his guilty plea.

Jane Waugh, mitigating, said Monaghan was willing to participate in the restorative justice programme if that was the wish of the burglary victim.

“I have spoken to him previously and he’s willing to participate in the scheme, despite the fact he’s not going to receive any further reduction in sentence.”

Monaghan, 37, of High Street, Willington, confirmed over the link that he wanted to take part in the programme.

Adjourning sentence to enable the restorative justice meeting to be arranged, Judge Prince told Monaghan that the scheme was for the benefit of the victim and not the perpetrator.

“It’s in the public interest and may prick your conscience next time you think of committing a burglary.”