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Craig Smith back behind bars following burglary
A REFORMED thief’s six-year bid to go straight ended when he joined in a burglary that terrified a young woman in her home, York Crown Court heard.
The householder dialled 999 when she was woken by the sound of breaking glass in the early hours of April 15 and realised intruders were in her Gladstone Street home in Acomb, said prosecutor Alan Mitcheson.
While she was on the phone to police, someone tried to open her bedroom door – which she had locked before going to bed.
“She was clearly petrified,” said Mr Mitcheson.
“Because of her concern and the note of terror in her voice, officers were despatched immediately.”
Three minutes later, officers caught Craig Timothy Smith, 31, and accomplice Shaun Douglas McCrae walking out of her back yard.
Smith had 37 previous convictions including many for shoplifting but none for burglary. Apart from an offence of being drunk and disorderly, he had been out of trouble since 2005.
McCrae, 29, of Ostman Road, Acomb, who was jailed in April for nearly three years, had more than 70 previous convictions including at least two for house burglary.
Smith’s barrister, Nicholas Barker, pleaded for him to keep his freedom so he could continue to lead the “law-abiding and positive” lifestyle he had led for nearly six years that included working three days a week at a caravan site and staying off drugs.
But the Recorder of York, Judge Stephen Ashurst, locked Smith up for eight months.
“The court has to take seriously any offence in which a householder is disturbed at 1.30 in the morning,” he said.
Smith, of Tostig Avenue, Acomb, pleaded guilty to burglary on the basis that he was a look-out and only McCrae went into the house.
Mr Barker said Smith had drunk too much in the city centre and was on his way home when he met McCrae by chance and on the spur of the moment agreed to take part in the burglary.
After their release, police fast-tracked McCrae to court, but released Smith on bail.