Two ’professional burglars’ sent to jail for 18 years

JAILED Andrew Smith, left, and Mark Way
JAILED Andrew Smith, left, and Mark Way
Police are looking for information after the incident. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

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TWO career criminals who burgled four homes and tried to target another on the same day have been jailed for 18 years between them.

Andrew Smith and Mark Way plotted to burgle as many homes as possible during an ‘outing’ to the Isle of Wight, Portsmouth Crown Court heard.

In just six hours they ransacked four homes on the island and tried to burgle a fifth, fleeing with sentimental jewellery, laptops, games consoles and cash from properties in Ryde and Shalfleet, Newport, on April 26.

Addressing the pair, Judge Sarah Munro QC, said: ‘I have no doubt that that outing was a planned and professional outing by both of you intending to burgle as many properties as you could on that day.’

Smith, 26, of Cheltenham Road, Paulsgrove, Portsmouth, and Way, 26, of Gorse Road, Petersfield, were convicted of conspiracy to commit burglary following a 13-day trial.

Sentencing Way to 10 years in jail and Smith to eight years, Judge Munro said: ‘You ransacked people’s homes, you stole items of significant financial value and more importantly sentimental value and you have left these people frightened and unsafe in their own homes.’

Way, who has made 27 previous court appearances for 86 crimes, was arrested after being caught red handed burgling a home in High View, Fareham on May 26.

Police apprehended him nearby a short while later and recovered a knife, a Hugo Boss watch and cash stolen from the property.

Smith – who had appeared in court 27 times previously for 57 offences – was arrested at his home a day later.

Way had admitted to burgling the property in High View, Fareham. But he was found guilty of four further separate offences including two counts of handling stolen goods, one of stealing £3,316 of cigarettes from the Co-op at Moggs Mead, Petersfield, on April 4. Way was also convicted of stealing £20,000 of cigarettes and tobacco from a Spar shop in London Road, Horndean, a week later.

Detective Constable Mel Sinclair said: ‘Burglary is a horrible experience and it can have a devastating effect on the victims.

‘They are professional burglars who have displayed a cold and abusive manner throughout the investigation and the court case.

‘We hope the result will help ease the pain and misery that the victims of these burglars have been through.’