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Serial burglar caught ready to steal in Burnley
A SERIAL house raider, who once stole a laptop containing pictures of a girl undergoing a bone marrow transplant, has struck again in Burnley.
Amphetamine addict Samuel Horsfall, 32, had black gloves, an extendable magnet, torch and craft knife with him in the early hours.
A resident spotted Horsfall and an accomplice looking in back yards, Burnley Crown Court was told.
Horsfall, whose list of offences goes back years, was jailed for 42 months in May 2010.
He had stolen a laptop on which were irreplaceable family photos and video footage of Sophie Micklethwaite, 10, who had a life-saving bone marrow transplant just days before, from her home in November 2009.
The defendant, of Pheasantford Street, Burnley, admitted going equipped for burglary on July 23 at court on Monday. He was jailed for six months.
David Macro, prosecuting, said a witness who was up at night eating, as it was Ramadan, heard voices at 3.15am.
He saw two men, one carrying a small black bag. He called police and as officers approached, one man ran off.
Horsfall was seen to discard a craft knife. He was detained and a bag was found nearby. It contained the magnet, gloves and torch.
The hearing was told Horsfall’s record went back a ‘very long time’ and he was also sent to prison for burglary last June.
Richard Taylor, for Horsfall, said he was released from custody in March and using amphetamine, which may well account for him being awake in the middle of the night.
He was looking for a friend who had recently moved into the area, but while he was out and about, he had things with him he should not have had.
Mr Taylor said the defendant accepted the craft knife would be used for stripping wire. The solicitor added: “They were looking for wire in backyards. They didn't get any.”
Judge Beverley Lunt told Horsfall: “Nobody goes out and just happens to have with them black gloves in July, and a magnet, torch and craft knife. Nobody just happens to have these when they are out looking for somebody.”
She added: “You have a terrible record for dishonesty. You don't leave other people’s property alone. You have got to be deterred and people have got to be protected.”