Burglar who trashed Clanfield home while owners were out is locked up

Hampshire police and crime commissioner Michael Lane. Picture: Malcolm Wells

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A BURGLAR who ransacked a home and fled with goods worth more than £16,000 has been jailed.

Samuel Hewett was part of a gang that stripped a home of tools and all of its valuable equipment while it was being renovated.

The gang left a trail of destruction at the property in Redwing Road, Clanfield, with water pouring from the ceiling and down the walls, damaged kitchen units, flooring and radiators.

Among items stolen while the owner was out were copper piping, a copper water tank, lead, an oven, kitchen and bedroom units and a TV.

Tiles, laminate flooring and tools were also taken in the burglary, which happened overnight on June 12 last year.

The stolen goods are estimated to be worth £16,500.

Some of the tools were later recovered.

Hewett, 22, of Tillington Gardens, Clanfield, was caught after police visited his home on an unrelated matter and spotted several items that had been stolen in the burglary. He was out at the time, but police later executed a search warrant at the property and seized stolen goods.

Hewett’s fingerprints were found on laminate flooring that had been stolen in the burglary and he was later arrested.

At Portsmouth Crown Court he was jailed for 20 months after pleading guilty to one count of burglary.

Hewett is the only person ever to have been charged in relation to the crime.

In sentencing Hewett, Judge Roger Hetherington, said: ‘This was a serious burglary committed by a group of which you were the only person who has been brought to justice, where two or three of you went into a house and stripped it of all its valuable equipment and fittings and stole some highly-valuable builders’ tools as well.

‘It’s right that the property was not occupied at the time but this will have caused considerable distress to the owners who were renovating that property.’

He added: ‘There was a significant degree of loss to the victim and the premises were effectively ransacked.

‘These were premises definitely targeted, I have no doubt, because they were empty and being renovated.’