VICTIMS of a burglar who stole nearly £18,000 worth of jewellery have told how their homes feel 'soiled' and they have been forced to install CCTV.
Drug addict Anthony Hensman was jailed for five years today after a judge was told the 46-year-old carried out a second burglary on bail after admitting the first raid.
Prosecutor Simon Foster told how Hensman smashed windows in both raids, in Gosport and Fareham, leaving his blood at the scene.
Hensman, of Westfield Road, Gosport, took £4,750 worth of jewellery in the raid at Brockhurst Road, Gosport, while the elderly couple living in the home were on holiday between April 25-26.
He was arrested and later admitted burglary in court - but went on to smash into a five-bedroom home in Fareham on September 7, filling two pillowcases with £13,000 worth jewellery stored in boxes.
Sentencing, judge Roger Hetherington said an 'appalling feature' of the case was that Hensman provided a character reference after admitting the first burglary that said he had changed his life. The judge branded this a 'delusion'.
He added: 'The only conceivable way the court can deal with your case today is by a substantial prison sentence.'
In a victim personal statement, the victim in the first case said the burglary left their home feeling 'soiled and dirty' knowing a person had been in the house.
The court heard the couple have since installed a CCTV camera linked to a control centre, and an alarm.
Sentimental jewellery, including the husband's wedding ring, had been taken by Hensman.
The wife added: 'As practising Christians we feel worried for vulnerable people in the community and worry about the pain he can callously inflict.'
Mr Foster said in the second raid in Fareham Hensman had got into the garden during the afternoon by climbing a fence, then on to a flat roof before smashing a bathroom window.
The victim said she made her statement 'only just having stopped shaking'.
She said: 'I can't believe a person has a right to make other people feel like this.'
Robert Harding, for Hensman, said his client became involved in the criminal justice system as a juvenile and has not left since.
Hensman, who failed a court-ordered drug rehabilitation course in 2013, has 74 previous offences over 21 convictions.
He previously carried out 18 previous burglaries and had been jailed for 14 years for conspiracy to rob.
Hensman admitted both burglaries carried out this year.
Investigating officer PC Charlotte Pocock said: ‘This sentence shows how seriously the courts view residential burglary offences and the impact that this crime can have on victims, especially if items of sentimental value are taken. I hope Hensman’s admission and this sentence will provide all those involved with some closure on the matter.’
After Hensman’s sentencing, police have issued a crime prevention reminder to help people avoid falling victim to burglars.
The advice is to:
:: Shut all windows and lock them when you are not using the room, at night, and when you leave your property
:: Lock all front and rear doors at night and when you are out. If you have a UPVC door with a multi-point lock ensure you lift the handle and lock it with the key.
:: Put all car keys and other keys out of sight and not in reach of windows and letterboxes. It doesn't take much for the keys to be hooked through the letterbox.
:: Leave a light on so your home looks occupied if you are going out for the evening. If you head out while it is still daylight and won't be back till after dark then a timer switches (available from most DIY stores) can be useful in turning your lights, radios and other appliances on at a set time before you get back.
:: Ensure side gates are locked to prevent access to the rear of the property.
:: Do not leave ladders and garden tools in your garden; lock them away in your shed.
:: Have an intruder alarm system installed by an approved contractor. Ensure a visible alarm box is attached to the outside of your home. Also consider fitting security lighting.
:: Use door chains and spy holes to give you extra security if someone knocks on your door. Never be afraid to turn people away. If you have concerns about anyone who has come to your door call the police.
:: Record the details of your property such as serial numbers for electronic goods on the Immobilise website (https://www.immobilise.com/)