A ‘PROFESSIONAL burglar’ who broke into a home and stole electrical items, jewellery and a car as the family slept, has been branded a ‘nuisance to society’ by a judge.
Scott Cheetham, aged 35, broke into the house in Rotherham while members of the family were asleep in their beds and stole laptops, televisions and jewellery on March 22.
Cheetham then helped himself to a set of car keys and loaded the items, worth £4,733, into the family’s vehicle which was parked on the drive.
He fled in the car after locking the family inside the house from the outside and driving off.
Cheetham was later spotted driving erratically by police.
They followed him for a short distance and he was caught when he crashed through a garden fence before trying to flee on foot.
A search of the car recovered all of the stolen electrical goods and jewellery.
Officers also found a pair of gloves and a balaclava used during the break in at Hall Close Avenue, Whiston, Rotherham.
Prosecutor Brian Outhwaite told Sheffield Crown Court Cheetham had a long history of offending.
He was jailed for six years at Derby Crown Court in 2009 for armed robbery before being released on licence.
Mr Outhwaite also read out a statement from the mother of the family, who had been in the house at the time of the robbery.
She said she felt uneasy about being in the house and was worried about the impact the ordeal would have on her children.
Dermot Hughes, defending, told the court Cheetham, of Skye Edge Road, Skye Edge, Sheffield, had been put up to the crime by a third party.
“His reputation goes before him and he was approached by a third party to commit this crime,” he said.
“He has bitterly regretted it ever since and has shown remorse.”
Jailing him for four-and-a-half years, Judge Simon Lawler told Cheetham: “You are a professional burglar and a thorough nuisance to society.
“Locking the family in the house using their own keys was a dangerous thing to do.”
Cheetham pleaded guilty to burglary and also to taking a vehicle without the owner’s consent.