A burglar wrote his victim sad news after breaking into his home for a second time and stealing £1,000 worth of items.
Simon Tolley, 39, stole a TV, pit bike, purse and bank card in two burglaries but penned a brief apology before fleeing the scene.
The victim, who lived at an address in Ryder Road, Meir, was moving when Tolley targeted her home twice in December, reports StokeonTrentLive.
Prosecutor Giles Pengelly said she left her address locked on December 11 and some of her belongings were still inside.
When she returned the next day, she found she had been broken into and her handbag had disappeared with £200 in cash and a bank card inside.
Her cousin then notes that other items were missing on December 14, including a TV, drill, pit bike and makeup – but this time there was a note.
Mr Pengelly told Crown Court Stoke-on-Trent: “There was a note saying ‘I’m sorry.’ The complainant received a notification on her phone that her bank card had been blocked for a transaction of £11.25 and another Transaction of £125 has been used which is still pending.
Tolley then decided to sell the bike to the woman’s neighbors, who told her what had happened.
After a few Facebook requests, the victim was able to contact Tolley directly, who admitted to using the card and offered to pay the amounts spent on it.
Tolley, who had no fixed address, pleaded guilty to two counts of burglary and fraud.
He has now been sentenced to 15 months in prison, including two years probation.
Steve Hennessy argued mitigatingly that Tolley founded and ran his own company for 10 years – but he lost it during the Covid-19 pandemic.
His home and family life subsequently deteriorated, and he eventually became homeless and took drugs.
But Mr Hennessy said he is now drug free and wants to reconcile with his family and get back to business.
Record holder Julian Taylor said: “It’s just gotten worse for you.” You’ve done quite well over a long period of time. Everything collapsed around you and you became addicted to monkey dust.
“How would you feel if your home was broken into?” You would be just as upset as this complainant. Not just once, but twice. To be on the safe side, they broke into the garden shed.
“I’ll give you a chance.” Pull yourself together.’
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