Family left living in fear after burglary

Preston Crown Court
Preston Crown Court
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A family were left living like prisoners due to the fear caused by a burglary at their Victorian home.

Although the burglars failed to gain entry, the family no longer felt safe and have surrounded themselves with extra security, including new door and window locks and CCTV cameras, Preston Crown Court was told.

A judge heard they no longer feel safe at their Wrea Green address. And they fear the extra security at their home would make it hard for emergency services to get in.

Three men from the Bolton area, who were caught thanks to a sharp-eyed neighbour, were given prison sentences for the attack on the property.

Alex Rigby,Laurel Court, Halliwell, Bolton, 32, was given three years in prison. He had pleaded guilty to burglary as well as driving while disqualified with no insurance.

Sean Smethurst, 19, Cornhill Drive, Bolton, was given a total of 25 months detention. He admitted the burglary plus other offences of dangerous driving and possessing cannabis.

Cory Carr, 22, Harrowby Street, Farnworth, admitted the burglary and also going equipped. He was give four months jail to be served after a three-year stretch he is already serving for supplying heroin.

They targeted a house in Ribby Road, Wrea Green, during daytime last December.

Richard Bennett, prosecuting, said suspicions were raised when a neighbour saw two men walking down the road and looking at the large Victorian house.

They were joined by a third man and were spotted looking at the French windows.

They fled when a security alarm was triggered and a neighbour noted down the partial registration number of a silver Peugeot car Rigby and Smethurst escaped in.

Carr was arrested nearby and had a screwdriver with him. Various attempts had been made to get into the house. The car was traced to the southbound carriageway of the M6 where officers stopped it.

Judge Christopher Cornwall described Rigby as a “professional house burglar”. He suspected the defendant had been released from his last sentence not long before the burglary and had learned “absolutely nothing”.