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Burglar Ashley Smith in double raid on neighbour in Billington Close, Stocking Farm, Leicester

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A burglar who twice ransacked his next door neighbour's home, leaving it daubed in graffiti, has been jailed for 15 months.

Ashley David Smith also helped himself to more than £3,700 worth of jewellery, electrical goods and household items.

The 25-year-old admitted twice breaking in to the house in Billington Close, Stocking Farm, Leicester, between April 18 and 22 this year.

Smith initially claimed he did not personally take all the stolen property from the house.

But, after hearing evidence of the circumstances of the break-in at a recent hearing, Judge Robert Brown ruled against him, saying he was satisfied he was responsible for taking it all.

Sentencing at Leicester Crown Court, Judge Brown told Smith: "You broke into your next door neighbours twice in a short space of time.

"They were in the process of moving. You knew exactly what you were doing.

"The first time, you took a key to make it easier to get in the next time.

"It was their home and you had no right to break into it.

"House burglaries cause huge upset to the occupants – it's not just an attack on their property, but also on them.

"You also caused vandalism in that house with a spray can."

Smith ransacked the premises on both occasions and sprayed graffiti on the walls inside the property.

Paint was sprayed down the stairs on the light sockets, while the burglar alarm was ripped out.

Sally Bamford, mitigating, said: "He accepts responsibility for his actions.

"He expresses his remorse, through me."

She said that Smith works as a general builder with his uncle.

"His former partner is expecting a child and he wants to continue to support her and the child, even if there is no reconciliation," said Ms Bamford.

"He's at a loss as to why he committed these offences.

"It was next door to where he was living at his mother's home and he was bound to be detected.

"He suffers from learning difficulties and been diagnosed as partially dyslexic."

Smith, who also admitted possessing a small amount of cannabis for personal use on arrest, appeared distressed and close to tears at receiving a custodial sentence.


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