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Opportunistic Telford burglar climbed through window to steal power tools

By Deborah Hardiman | Oakengates | Crime | Published:

An opportunistic Telford burglar stole power tools from inside a newly bought family home that was being revamped.

Harry Maiden, 52, a former soldier, claimed he was walking past the house when he noticed that the window was open and he decided to climb in.

He admitted an offence of burglary at the premises, in Victoria Avenue, Ketley, on July 16 last year, at a previous hearing.

Shrewsbury Crown Court heard how Maiden has not been in any trouble with the law since the 1990s.

Philip Beardmore, prosecuting, said: “The owner bought the house as a new family home and decided to do it up himself. He left a lot of power tools on site and locked up at 6.30pm on the Tuesday. On returning at about 10.30am the next morning he noticed that a tool that he wanted to use was missing.

“When he checked around the house he realised that further tools were missing. In the kitchen he saw that the window was slightly ajar and there were palm prints on the glass. He called the police and they carried out checks which showed a match to the defendant’s fingerprints.”

Mr Beardmore said officers went to Maiden’s address, in Maurice Lee Avenue, Oakengates, where some of the tools valued at £730 were recovered.

Regrets

The court heard that following his arrest Maiden, once based at Deepcut Barracks, tested positive for opiates but this was attributed to prescribed medication and not drug abuse. He has four previous convictions for burglary and theft.

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Geoffrey Dann, defending said: “This is a defendant who is not in the best of health. The offending behaviour is something he regrets. For 30 years he had a drug addiction to heroin. About 10 years ago he realised that he needed help and went into detox and rehab.

Mr Dann added: "It seems it was opportunistic and he took a bag full of power tools. He fully co-operated with the police and he showed them where he had put the items.”

In a victim impact statement, the family said that due to the burglary they had since put the property back on the market as they no longer wished to live there.

For burglary, Maiden was sentenced to a 12-month community order, 25 rehabilitation activity days and he must pay £100 compensation.

Deborah Hardiman

By Deborah Hardiman
@Deborahh_Star

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star based out of the head office in Ketley. Covering the Telford area.

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