Teenage burglars who targeted homes across Portsmouth, Fareham and Waterlooville are jailed for nearly 12 years

THREE teenage menaces who inflicted terror and destruction on households have been thrown behind bars for a combined total of nearly 12 years.

Monday, 10th May 2021, 4:55 am
Updated Monday, 10th May 2021, 10:45 am

Luke MacDonald from Fareham and Portsmouth duo Rhys Conner and Harlie Frampton, all 19, were served justice for carrying out ruthless night-time raids on family homes.

Couples with young children and elderly were targeted in burglaries that wreaked fear and left oblivious occupants who were asleep ‘scared’ as cars were stolen, along with wallets, keys, handbags and sentimental items.

In total, the three men masterminded six burglaries in Portsmouth with two more in Fareham and Waterlooville carried out between February 17 and September 23 in 2019, Portsmouth Crown Court heard.

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Luke MacDonald (left) was jailed for 54 months, Rhys Conner for 46 months and Harlie Frampton (right) got 40 months for their part in conspiracy to burgle across Portsmouth

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One victim said he was ‘shocked’ to discover his van and his parents’ car had been stolen. ‘I was concerned they would come back the next night and try and steal more as they had the keys,’ he said in a statement read out to court by prosecutor Nicholas Hall.

‘The worst part was having to tell my mum as she was on holiday celebrating her birthday, which was ruined.’

But he added they were the ‘world's stupidest thieves’ after one of the gang was later spotted behind the wheel of his parents’ car driving down the street which led to him alerting police. ‘He was driving past with a fag in his mouth without a care in the world driving like a racing driver,’ he said.

Another victim, who serves in the British Army, said the family house was broken into as he, his pregnant wife and young child slept.

During the ambush, a Ford Focus car was stolen which had valuable army items inside it worth thousands of pounds as the victim was preparing to deploy to Scotland the next morning.

‘I was so annoyed,’ the man said, before adding: ‘I got grilled (by the army) and was in danger of being put in a military detention in Colchester over it.’

He said his wife was ‘too afraid to go home’ after the burglary as he was in Scotland so she returned to her Barbados home before returning to the family home in January 2020 when he was also back. ‘I had to physically show her the old keys did not work as she was so scared,’ he added.

The husband of a couple who saw both their cars stolen during a break-in said: ‘My wife was scared to go to bed. We shouldn’t go to bed and be woken up by the police telling us our cars have been stolen.’

Another homeowner said they felt ‘sick someone was in my house’ before adding: ‘I can’t believe people would come into our house while we were asleep.’

All three men admitted a charge of conspiracy to commit burglary.

The offences in 2019 included raids at Colville Road, Drayton, between 10.30pm on February 17 and 6.45am on February 18; at Hawthorn Crescent, Portsmouth, between 12am and 3am on April 30; Central Road, Portsmouth, between 2am and 7am on August 19; Neville Avenue, Fareham, between 12.30am and 4.30am on August 28, and Childe Square, Portsmouth at 3am on August 31.

They also included burglaries at Finch Road, Southsea, between 12am and 5.30am on September 16; Campion Close, Waterlooville, between 9.30pm on September 22 and 2.35am on September 23, and Central Road, Drayton, between 7.30pm on September 22 and 4.30am on September 23.

MacDonald also admitted offences including carrying out an attempted burglary to a house in Campbell Road, Southsea, on September 20 last year where he was caught ‘trying to force entry’ before running off and being caught by police.

As well as breaching a curfew order twice, MacDonald also admitted a robbery and assault occasioning actual bodily harm following an attack on October 26 last year when he tried to steal a £4,000 electric bike from a man as he enjoyed a bike ride with his wife. ‘The attack was ferocious, relentless and unwarranted,’ the victim said.

‘After it was made clear the bike would not be leaving without a struggle it was all about him asserting his dominance after I had refused him.’

The man escaped with cuts and bruises and a bad back. A passer-by had joined the struggle to help the man.

While Frampton had no other charges to be taken into account, Conner had various offences he admitted to. These included possessing cannabis and cocaine, and having a bladed article, as well as failing to surrender to custody.

He also admitted defrauding his dad out of £500 over several months during 2019 after gaining access to his bank details via his iPhone. ‘I feel the best place for him is prison,’ his dad said in a statement read out to court.

The parent added: ‘I hope we can rebuild our relationship in the future as he is still my son.’

Judge Timothy Mousley QC locked Conner, of Bevis Road, North End, up for 46 months and jailed MacDonald, of West Street, Fareham, for 54 months.

Frampton, of Wymering Lane, Cosham, was given 40 months in a young offenders institution.

Speaking after the sentence, Det Sgt Deborah Mason, said: ‘We are very pleased that this prolific burglar and his co-defendants are being held accountable for their crimes and would like to thank all of those involved in the investigation that brought them to justice.

‘Residential burglaries such as these are despicable crimes and the distress caused to victims is immeasurable.

‘I welcome this sentence and I hope it reassures our communities that we take these offences very seriously and investigate all available lines of enquiry to identify those responsible and bring them to justice.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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