TWO prolific teenage burglars with ‘an extra-ordinary’ criminal record have been locked up after their latest raid – this time on an 80-year-old’s home.
Burnley Crown Court heard how Corey White and Benjamin Towers both had long records for burglary, even though the pair had only just turned 18.
As they were put behind bars Judge Beverley Lunt said: “The only way to protect people’s property from you is to keep you off the streets.
“You have both got bad records for burglary and you knew exactly what was going to be involved.”
Their latest victim was on holiday when his house in Padiham was targeted, after they found out a window was open and the occupant was away.
The defendants had been disturbed in the terrace house when an eagle- eyed neighbour realised something was amiss in the early hours. The pair had run off, had been captured on CCTV and White had left a fingerprint in the property.
Former cannabis user White, who has recently been living at the Travelodge in Barracks Road, Burnley, was said to have no possessions beyond the clothes he sat in the dock in. His accomplice, from Padiham, but whose recent home has been the Salvation Army hostel in Blackburn, was now said to have enrolled on a Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme in his quest to turn over a new leaf.
The hearing was told both were 17 at the time of the offence and if Towers, a ‘three strike burglar’ had done it just eight weeks later when he was an adult, he would have been facing a minimum three years in custody.
The duo are now both in a young offenders ' institution, each for 12 months, after admitting burglary with intent to steal, committed on June 5.
Silvia Dacre, prosecuting, said about 1am, the neighbour called the police after spotting the window open at the house and the rear gate insecure.
Officers arrived and found a group of males near the back of the street. Suspicion fell upon the defendants and they were arrested at the supervised accommodation they were living at. They had been caught on local CCTV and a fingerprint from White was in the premises. Neither made any comment when arrested and quizzed.
The hearing was told White and Towers had about 12 convictions for burglary between them and Towers was on a youth rehabilitation order.
Joe Boyd, for White, said his pre-sentence report made ‘extraordinarily depressing reading’.
The defendant had been in care and since January 24, 2011, had spent 56 weeks in custody.
Mr Boyd said: “His family is unable to provide him any kind of guidance whatsoever.” White's benefits had been suspended and the only money he had was £10 his co- defendant had given him .
He said: “All his possessions are his clothes that are on him. He effectively has got no other possessions whatsoever and he is only just 18.
“Custody has done him no good at all. He simply gets into had company and commits further offences.”
Defending Towers, Philip Holden said he had a poor record, particularly for one so young, but he had got himself onto a college course with a view to studying Art and Design and had enrolled on the awards scheme.
He said: “We have a young man who, perhaps on the face of it, is deserving of a custodial sentence, but who appears to be staying away from offending , albeit over a very short period of time, and is trying to forge out for himself some sort of positive future.”