Burglar went on three-day crime spree and stole £10,000 Rolex watch

PUBLISHED: 16:59 13 November 2019 | UPDATED: 16:59 13 November 2019

Christopher O'Neill. Picture: Norfolk Constabulary

Christopher O'Neill. Picture: Norfolk Constabulary

Norfolk Constabulary

A burglar carried out a spate of break-ins in a three-day crime spree taking high value items including a £10,000 Rolex watch.

Norwich Crown Court heard Christopher O'Neill, 30, targeted homes in Buxton Road in Spixworth, East Tuddenham, Dereham Road in Honingham, as well as a home in Loughborough, in August while owners were out.

Martin Ivory, prosecuting, said some items of jewellery were recovered after a car O'Neill was driving was linked to his partner at the time, Sheree Townsend, 30, of Brambling Lane, Cringleford.

Mr Ivory said when the car was searched police recovered several items taken in burglaries, including the Rolex watch.

Mr Ivory said that the burglary victims spoke of the trauma of returning home to find their property had been burgled and one home owner put the amount of damage caused by the break-in at £2,500.

Mr Ivory said that although O'Neill had previous convictions, he had none for house burglaries.

O'Neill, from Middlesbrough, admitted four counts of burglary. handling stolen goods and driving while banned and was jailed 25 months.

Townsend, admitted handling stolen goods and was given a nine month jail sentence, suspended for two years.

Sentencing O'Neill, Judge David Goodin said the burglaries were all carried out during the day while the owners were out: "You went round looking for likely places and struck where you could."

He added: "At least the occupiers were not terrified out of their wits by having a burglary going on around them."

He told Townsend that he did not accept she had been wholly ignorant about the burglaries but accepted she had played no active part in the break-ins.

Andrew Oliver, for O'Neill, said that he was in debt over drugs and said: "He became more and more desperate. He accepts his responsibility for what he has done. His drugs use is no excuse for him breaking into homes."

He said that he had putting his time to good use while on remand.

Gavin Cowe, for Townsend, said she had a difficult background.

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