Burglar told to pay back every penny he took from his victim
BURGLAR Peter Tebbutt learned the hard way that crime does not pay when a judge ordered him to refund every penny to his victim.
A householder, who lived alone, worked and saved hard to buy a laptop computer, designer sunglasses and PlayStation 4 controllers with games, Leicester Crown Court was told.
On Tuesday, July 14, she returned home to find the front door of her apartment in Uppingham Road, Leicester, had been kicked in, items were strewn on the floor and possessions missing, along with £100 in cash and her driving licence.
The culprit, 52-year-old Peter Tebbutt, of Gibbons Close, Belgrave, Leicester, left his fingerprints at the scene, which led to his arrest.
Tom Welshman, prosecuting, said the burglary had severely distressed the occupant and she did not wish her victim impact statement to be read out in open court.
He added: “She suffered personal and financial loss.”
Recorder Simon King said: “She’s expressed a level of trauma as a single woman living on her own.”
James Varley, mitigating, said: “The home owner wasn’t there at the time, it was a daytime burglary.”
He said that Tebbutt, who admitted the burglary, had stayed out of trouble since 2013 - when he was sentenced “for a lot of shoplifting” and then successfully received drug treatment for heroin addiction.
Last year he “fell off the wagon” regarding drugs and also turned to alcohol, having been out of work long term due to a severe knee injury during the course of his employment as a labourer in the building trade.
Tebbutt had since made good progress, was now back at work, off drugs and able to pay compensation, said Mr Varley.
Passing sentence, Recorder King said: “I don’t want anyone to be in doubt about the seriousness of this offence.
“It’s clear from the victim’s personal statement she has been seriously traumatised by what happened, as most people are when their homes are invaded and items are stolen or damaged and when things they’ve worked hard to afford are taken away.
“In this case she feels significantly uncertain and afraid.”
The recorder said the victim had saved up “for a long time” to buy the items Tebbutt stole and now he had to cover the full cost.
He added: “Although you have a substantial history of offending, much of it stems from a long time ago.
“I have been persuaded by your counsel it need not be immediate custody today.”
Tebbutt was given a 12-month jail sentence, suspended for two years, with 100 hours of unpaid work.
He was placed on a six-month electronically monitored home curfew, between 8pm and 6am, and ordered to pay £1,279 in compensation to the victim at the rate of £30 a week.
Recorder King told the defendant: “You should count yourself lucky, please don’t waste this opportunity.”
It’s clear from the victim’s personal statement she has been seriously traumatised by what happened