Jail for burglar who hid in sewer after police chase

A ”third strike” house raider who targeted a family home in Fence and stole the occupant’s works van is behind bars for 43 months.

Thursday, 11th June 2015, 3:30 pm
Ricky England

Burnley Crown Court heard how Ricky England (22), who had a 17-year-old accomplice, ran off and hid in a sewer at the end of a police chase and an officer had to climb in and get him.

The keys to the van had been taken from the kitchen of the property in a sneak theft through an unlocked side door.

England, who has 20 offences on his record, has now clocked up his fifth conviction for burgling someone’s house and his past victims have included a 91-year-old man whose bedroom was searched while he slept.

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The defendant was facing a minimum of three years behind bars as a “third strike” burglar.

The defendant, of Cog Lane, Burnley, admitted burglary and theft on November 30th last year. His Accrington co-defendant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has served the equivalent of a 12-month term of custody. He received a two-year youth rehabilitation order, with an intensive supervision and surveillance programme, an activity requirement and a three-month 9pm to 7am curfew.

Prosecutor Alison Heyworth said a couple and their four-year-old son lived at the burgled property.

The couple were in their living room at 9-30pm, when they saw the man’s works van being driven off. It contained valuable tools.

Miss Heyworth said, at 9-32pm, a police officer made his way to the M65 junction to see if he could spot the stolen van.

Two minutes later, he saw it coming off the motorway and a three-mile pursuit followed.

The teenager, believed to be the driver, was detained when the vehicle stopped and he fell down some steps trying to get away.

The prosecutor continued: “Ricky England made off and hid in a sewer pipe in a nearby river. A police officer had to go into the pipe and get him out. The defendant was aggressive both verbally and physically.” He made no comment when questioned.

The vehicle was returned to its owner 20 minutes later, undamaged, as well as the keys.

Miss Heyworth said the burglary victim was upset by what happened, particularly as his son was asleep in bed. He was thankful his family was safe.

Passing sentence, Judge Jonathan Gibson told the defendants: “Taken together the two offences had the potential for significant loss.”