Doncaster drug addict burgled neighbour twice in two days despite being caught in act by police

A Doncaster heroin addict, who burgled her neighbour twice in two days despite being caught by police in the act on the first occasion, has been jailed for over two years
A Doncaster heroin addict, who burgled her neighbour twice in two days despite being caught by police in the act on the first occasion, has been jailed for over two years

A Doncaster heroin addict, who burgled her neighbour twice in three days despite being caught in the act by police on the first occasion, has been jailed for over two years.

Sheffield Crown Court was told how the owners of a house in Broxholme Lane in Doncaster town centre had temporarily vacated the property in February this year to allow for renovation work that they had painstakingly saved for to take place.

At around 4am on February 23, Rebecca Stephens was seen by neighbours entering the three-storey house through a window, who subsequently called the police.

Prosecuting, Carl Fitch, told the court how arriving at the house police realised Stephens, also of Broxholme Lane, was on the top storey of the house and called up to her.

In a bid to escape police the 33-year-old smashed the attic window, and made her way on to the roof of the house.

Mr Fitch said: "She told police: 'You're going to lock me up, and I don't want to go to prison'.

"Officers forced entry and found the defendant on the roof, clinging on to the roof tiles. They had to phone for the fire brigade to rescue her.

"Whilst waiting for the fire brigade, the defendant said: 'You've ruined it, I was going to call my boys and take some stuff. I was going to take his decks, I would have got some serious coin for it'."

After being rescued by the fire brigade, Stephens was arrested by police on burglary charges before being released on bail.

At around 8am the following day, one of the builders working on the property found Stephens ransacking the house.

Mr Fitch told the court that when the builder asked Stephens to leave she told him that she was 'going in for a look'.

"At the same time she was wearing clothing from inside the premises," he added.

Officers were called to the scene and arrested Stephens, who made no comment under police interview.

Stephens, who has an extensive criminal record consisting of 33 offences from nine convictions, admitted to one count of burglary and one count of attempted burglary at a previous hearing.

This offence was her so-called 'third strike' for burglary offences.

Defending, Edward Moss, told the court that Stephens' offending was due to her addiction to heroin, and that she had made positive steps towards a recovery during her time in prison.

Judge Sarah Wright sentenced Stephens to 863 days in prison, which is the minimum term for anyone on a third strike for burglary.

She said: "This was a mean offence, and you deliberately targeted that property."