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Jailed: Burglar broke into Shrewsbury house as couple watched TV

By Sue Austin | Shrewsbury | Crime | Published: | Last Updated:

A burglar has been jailed after he broke into a Shrewsbury house looking for somewhere to stay the night - while a young couple were downstairs watching TV.

Damian Fraser, who was homeless, climbed scaffolding to get into a bedroom, thinking the house in Ashton Road was being renovated.

But Shrewsbury Crown Court heard that Beth Gwilliam and her partner, James Smith, were watching television downstairs.

Fraser, 48, who admitted burglary at an earlier hearing, was jailed for 10 months by Judge Anthony Lowe, and was told he would have to serve half the sentence before his release on licence.

Mr Tariq Shakoor, prosecuting, said Miss Gwillam and Mr Smith were watching television on the night of November 4 last year when they heard noises.

At first they thought it was fireworks then realised it was coming from upstairs.

Mr Smith went to investigate and found Fraser with a rucksack belonging to the family. He told him he was homeless and looking for somewhere to sleep the night.

Mr Smith put Fraser in a headlock and took him downstairs and threw him out of a side door. A mobile phone was then discovered to be missing.

The police took DNA from the house and it was matched to Fraser who was arrested.

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Mr Adrian Roberts for Fraser said his client had had a dreadful record in the past but had managed to stay out of trouble for many years.

He said he had been in Shrewsbury visiting friends and had been drinking and taking drugs.

“He was homeless and was looking for somewhere to sleep,” Mr Roberts said.

“He saw a ladder and assumed the house was empty and being renovated. It was only once he was inside he realised there was a light on downstairs.

“This was his first dwelling burglary.”

A statement from homeowner Mr John Gwillam on behalf of the family said his wife was only just coming to terms with the burglary and had fitted a lock on the bedroom door.

Sue Austin

By Sue Austin
Chief Reporter

Chief reporter of the Oswestry/Mid Wales office. Keen to hear your news.

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