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Saturday, 15 August 2009

Prolific Burglars Jailed

From The Blackburn Citizen:

TWO burglars who stole goods worth over £20,000 from 12 homes in Revidge have been sentenced to a total of eight years in prison.

Bilal Zeb, 20, of Preston New Road, Blackburn and Waqaar Ali, 20, of Whitehead Street, Blackburn, each got four years for their roles in the burglaries which mostly took place between September and November last year.

The pair took jewellery, laptops, mobile phones and games consoles from the properties, which they targeted while residents were out of their houses.

In one incident Ali stole jewellery that belonged to the house owner’s wife, who had recently died.

Daniel Prouse, defence counsel for Ali, said the defendant felt “ashamed” of his behaviour.

He said: “He (Ali) stopped committing these series of offences when he realised one of his victims was an elderly man.

“He realised the impact of his behaviour on the victim and feels thoroughly ashamed of what he has done.”

Martin Hackett, defence counsel for Zeb, said he had recently lost his job at an estate agents and had developed a drugs problem.

“The reason for those burglaries was to fund the defendants spiralling addiction to cocaine,” he said.

Mr Hackett added that Zeb wanted to chase a career in law after he had finished his jail term, and put this “disgraceful” period of his live behind him.

Zeb had been in custody since February when he committed another burglary while on bail for the previous offences.

Judge Baker, handing down the sentence, told the pair that “one could only imagine the upset that stealing jewellery belonging to a deceased spouse could cause”.

He added that many of the victims now lived in a constant “sense of vulnerability, fearful of being in their homes at night and fearful of leaving their homes empty at night.”

After the case, Police Constable Andy Lever, from eastern division’s burglary team said: “Zeb and Ali are both prolific burglars who persistently targeted people’s homes on the lookout for Asian jewellery and I am satisfied with the result.

“Burglary is a devastating crime which has an adverse affect on public confidence, not only to the victims but to the wider community.

“The sentences should demonstrate our determination to deal robustly with criminals.

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