A TEENAGE burglar who stole a TV from the luxury former home of ex-England footballer Phil Neville has been jailed for 16 months.

Businessman Matthew Greensmith and his wife Jean have now boosted security at Sunnyside House, in Crawshawbooth, after the break-in by 18-year-old Connor Stokes, Burnley Crown Court heard.


Stokes had initially made an attempt to rip a 50-inch television from a wall at the six-bedroom property, bought for £2.6million by the Greensmiths in the summer of 2009, which has its own swimming pool, cinema and gym.

Lancashire Telegraph:

But he gave up and took another television, positioned in a changing room at the Burnley Road home, the court was told.

Stokes, of Queen Street, Rawtenstall, admitted burglary and offences of theft, handling stolen goods and breaking into a shed.

Emma Kehoe, prosecuting, said Jean Greensmith, who lived at Sunnyside House with her husband and their two young children, had left the property at around 7.30am on March 5 and noticed nothing untoward. Her husband had departed at around 4.20am on a business trip.

The family’s cleaner later alerted Mrs Greensmith that an intruder appeared to have been inside.

She returned home to find that a door leading from the garage to the main house appeared to have been forced, the court heard.

Aside from the stolen TV it appeared that a number of other rooms had been visited, added Ms Kehoe.

CCTV footage was recovered from the property and a police officer identified Stokes from the images.

Footwear marks were also recovered from the scene and later, through forensic tests, they were found to match trainers belonging to the teenager.

In a statement, Mrs Greensmith said that the break-in had made the family more concerned about their own safety and forced them to increase security.

The couple had also made efforts not to mention the raid to their children, so as not to make them anxious, the court heard.

Neville’s Versace-themed house, created after he married Valley girl Julie Killelea in 1999, once featured their initials interwoven on the entry gates.