Portsmouth teenage burglar targeted sheltered housing for elderly people

Southsea Tennis Club's Pavilion Cafe
Southsea Tennis Club's Pavilion Cafe
Jacob Kennard, Gavin Moon, Ian Doyle and Sarah Talboys-Smith with Shanon Rees and Rodney Watson at the front
 at  The Southsea Village holding a ping-pongathon to get people in the fundraising spirit fo Children in Need. Picture : Habibur Rahman

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A TEENAGER responsible for a string of burglaries has been warned he faces jail if he commits another crime.

Marc Masterton broke into sheltered accommodation for elderly vulnerable people and took cash out of charity boxes at a cafe.

The 18-year-old, formerly of Montgomerie Road, Southsea, also caused damage at a car dealership after breaking in with an accomplice.

Four of the burglaries were carried out in just five days, leaving behind a trail of damaged doors and windows as they got into the buildings.

Portsmouth Crown Court heard footwear prints linked Masterton to each of the scenes of the Portsmouth burglaries.

Judge Sarah Munro QC detailed the incidents, adding: ‘That’s all the effect of your drunken night-time exploits trying to get money you’re not entitled to.’

The burglaries were:

n September 2, 2015 at Southsea Beach Cafe, St Helen’s Parade: overnight burglary. Internal door ‘kicked in’ with iPad, wireless till system and tablet worth £1,250 all stolen.

n October 17-19: Moped taken without consent. Masterton’s fingerprints found on it and he admitted vehicle interference.

n February 8, 2016, at Southsea Tennis Club, Clarence Esplanade: Glass window broken and door forced in – cashbox and two charity boxes stolen. The items were found, but cash was taken. One charity box was nearly full.

n February 9 at St George’s Court: Broke into sheltered accommodation for 60 elderly vulnerable people at 2.30am. Masterton and accomplice kicked in entrance doors and later tried to break staff room door with fire extinguisher. Nothing taken,

n February 9 at Campion Place, Elm Grove, at 5.30am: With accomplice, disturbed by cleaner whose handbag, phone and cards had been taken.

n February 13 at Byng’s Autos in Goldsmith Avenue, Southsea: stole tools and damaged a car totalling £1,200.

Matthew Lawson, prosecuting, told how the manager at St George’s Court said the residents were left ‘distressed and now feel unsafe in their home’.

The cleaner who disturbed Masterton and his accomplice broke down in tears after they left.

One of the pair had held up a chair near her.

In a statement she said: ‘I was terrified, I did not know what he was going to do with the chair.’

Masterton was handed 12 months’ detention suspended for two years with a six-month curfew.

The judge added: ‘It’s your last chance.’

Masterton pleaded guilty to five burglaries and vehicle interference.