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By Court reporter Monday 24 February 2014 Updated: 24/02 11:47
A BURGLAR who smashed a window at a house in Alcester town centre and snatched three porcelain figurines from the window sill has been jailed for three years.
Lee Stephens had pleaded not guilty to burgling the house in Church Street late at night on August 7 while the couple who lived there were in bed.
But the 33-year-old from Beauchamp Road was jailed after being found guilty by a jury at Warwick Crown Court following a trial last month.
During the trial the court heard Alan Creswell and his wife were woken by a window being thumped and broken.
"I recognised the sound more than anything because we’ve had it happen before.
"I got out of bed and put my slippers on and came downstairs because I had to check whether it was one of our windows or our neighbour’s.
"Half way down the stairs I knew it was ours because I got a cold draught on my legs."
He said he went into the dining room at the front of the house and put the light on, seeing broken shards of glass and three porcelain animals - worth about £60 each - missing.
"I saw a person outside moving away towards Malt Mill Lane. I saw one person, but I had an idea that I heard two footfalls," added Mr Creswell.
Stephens was arrested two weeks later at his sister’s home in Redditch after he and his half-brother Jamie Andrews had been seen unloading stolen garden machinery from a car in the early hours of the morning.
He denied carrying out the smash-and-grab burglary but was found guilty following the trial - which could not be reported at the time because he and Andrews were facing a further trial for receiving stolen goods.
That involved the garden machinery, including a petrol lawnmower, a strimmer and a rotavator, they had been seen unloading, which had come from the burglary of a garden shed in Mappleborough Green.
Stephens and Andrews, 20 and also of Beauchamp Road, have since been found guilty of that charge and remanded in custody for a pre-sentence report to be prepared on Andrews.
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