Jailed: Telford burglar stole £15,000 Rolex watch and told victim he'd 'cut her pretty face'
A burglar who stole a £15,000 Rolex watch from one house and told a terrified homeowner he’d “cut her pretty face” has been jailed for 12 years.
Stephen Corbett of Telford boasted to a woman he was burgling in Shawbirch, Telford, that he was in the Shropshire Star as a wanted man, and if she called police it “wouldn’t end well” for her.
Shrewsbury Crown Court heard how, on June 5 last year, Corbett and his accomplice Robert Jones knocked on the door of a house in Glade Way and when the homeowner’s son opened the door, the 38-year-olds barged their way in.
Prosecutor Steven Bailey said: “Corbett went into the living room. He told the terrified mother and son he was ‘Corb’ and that they could find him in the Shropshire Star.” A police appeal for him had been published after another burglary in Admaston, Telford.
“He told her she was pretty and he would cut her face,” added Mr Bailey. “He demanded a drink of wine. They only had juice. He had a knife in his hand. He went with her into the kitchen and took out a box of money containing £320.”
While ringleader Corbett was causing terror downstairs, Jones was upstairs searching for valuables. The two men then left with the money.
Mr Bailey added: “He told the victims it wouldn’t end well if they reported what happened.”
They were initially too scared to call the police, but decided to the following day after seeing Corbett’s face in the media.
In her victim impact statement, she said she’d “never been so scared” in all her life.
The duo denied aggravated burglary and went to trial last November, which collapsed due to a barrister being unable to continue representing Jones. It meant the victim had to relive her horror and be cross-examined by two defence barristers in front of judge and jury.
One of the pieces of evidence that caught out Corbett was his DNA on the glass he drank from at the victim’s property. When Corbett was arrested, police found a flick knife and 58 ecstasy tablets in his car, worth up to £580 in street drug deals.
Three weeks earlier on May 19, Corbett and Christopher Booth targeted a home in Aldermead Close, Admaston. The duo disguised themselves as builders, knocked on the door of the property and, after establishing no-one was home, smashed a window and carried out an “untidy” search.
They took the £15,000 Rolex as well as a box of gold jewellery and £800 in cash. An off duty police detective who was walking his dog later saw the pair in their disguises, carrying a holdall. A police appeal was then put out. Booth was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison for his part in the crime last year.
Altogether, Corbett, of Hurleybrook Way, Telford, pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary, burglary, possession of a bladed article and possession of a class A drug with intent to supply.
Jones, of Benthall, Broseley, pleaded guilty to burglary. He was jailed for 34 months.
Corbett’s defence barrister Rob Edwards revealed he is looking to study and Open University degree - in criminology.
Mr Edwards said: “He hopes to educate others in what can happen if you take the wrong path.”
Saleema Mahmood, defending Jones, asked Judge Anthony Lowe to take his learning difficulties into account and that there was “an element of exploitation” from Corbett.
Judge Lowe said: “The forcing of entry in the way that this occurred sets up the potential for violence.”
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