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'Night of madness' of Barnoldswick garden raider
AN intruder who sneaked into a grandmother’s home at night as she and her family slept, had a car packed full of other people’s plants and gardening equipment, a court heard.
John Faulkner, 42, had gone into the house on St James Square, Barnoldswick, in the early hours and was met on his way out by a police officer.
The defendant claimed he had just been to see a friend.
He then tried to start his car and attempted to pull away when he was arrested.
Burnley Crown Court heard that Faulkner told the officer he had been ‘snooping through back yards’ for things for his garden.
He had a £120 chiminea, which had been taken from a secure garden and plants and a planter which had been stolen from another garden, stashed in his vehicle.
The hearing was told nothing had been taken from the grandmother’s home, but she was concerned that someone had been in her property.
Faulkner had been out of trouble for a decade, the court was told, but struck after taking valium.
A judge described his actions, on May 18, as a ‘night of total madness’.
The defendant, of Glen Street, Colne, had admitted house burglary with intent to steal and two counts of theft and had been committed for sentence by Pennine magistrates.
He was sentenced to eight months in prison, suspended for a year, with a nine-month drug treatment requirement.
He was also made subject to a 12-month supervision order.
The court was told that when Faulkner was questioned, he told police officers that he did not think he had intended to steal anything from the grandmother’s house.
He had 29 offences on his record, from theft to supplying drugs, but had stayed out of trouble for 10 years.
Judge Beverley Lunt said 10 years was a long time to stay out of trouble.
She said the defendant had been under the influence of drugs and had been stealing anything he could get his hands on.
The judge told Faulkner he would have left the burglary victim in fear and she would not feel secure for years.
Judge Lunt added: “She will never sleep in the same way.”