A BURGLAR who broke into a Havant house and stole £5,000 worth of goods while the whole family were inside left a child traumatised – with the terrified youngster saying afterwards: ‘Will he come back to take me?’
Leonard Baptiste, 38, of no fixed address, was handed down a term of 16 months’ jail at Portsmouth Crown Court for his callous actions.
The court heard how the defendant accessed the house in March via an unlocked door before helping himself to a number of goods including jewellery, an Xbox and other items of sentimental value.
In separate matters Baptiste also admitted handling stolen goods after he used a credit card at a petrol station that had been stolen in another burglary. He also admitted a charge of fraud in relation to the same matter.
Judge Robert Hill said: ‘Your actions had a massive impact on the family who you burgled with the child saying “will he come back to take me?” They have all suffered a great deal and feel violated by what happened.’
Det Con Alastair Charnley warned people to remain vigilant of burglars over the summer months. He said: ‘Household burglary can have a dramatic impact on victims and their families. This sentence sends a clear message that we take offences like those committed by Leonard Baptiste very seriously and that we will seek a conviction wherever possible. I hope this result provides some comfort to his victims.
‘With temperatures rising it’s also the time of year that opportunistic thieves will look to take advantage of insecurities in people’s homes.
‘Make sure you lock up and put valuables out of sight, locking doors and securing windows can prevent you from becoming a victim of an opportunistic thief.’