Prolific Sheffield criminal jailed for pub and home burglaries as families slept

COURT: Court Case
COURT: Court Case
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A prolific burglar who crept into two pubs and a house while families slept nearby has been jailed for seven years.

Drug addict Darren Smith, aged 50, was caught on CCTV breaking into The Nottingham House, in Broomhill and The Thirsty Flame, in Brinsworth.

Sheffield Crown Court heard he also stole valuable possessions from a family home in Kimberworth and when he was arrested he was wearing the £2,500 watch he had taken.

Judge Sarah Wright told Smith, who has 31 previous convictions, he had caused ‘untold upset and anxiety’.

The court heard they had been left feeling unsafe and frightened in their own homes.

Prosecutor Neil Coxon said Smith stole £2,500 from an office in the living quarters of The Nottingham House pub on March 16, while the landlord was asleep.

He was later identified on CCTV footage.

Smith also broke into the The Thirsty Flame pub, in the early hours of April 25, while the pub manager and her husband were in bed.

Mr Coxon said the manager was woken by an usual sound before an alarm went off. She discovered a window was open and pub keys missing.

CCTV footage showed Smith tampering with a window before fleeing in the direction of Sunnybank Crescent, Brinsworth.

Minutes later further footage showed him ‘acting suspiciously’ and looking through a window of a house on the street.

In a victim impact statement read to the court, the pub manager said she is considering quitting her job and moving because she no longer feels safe.

The third burglary happened while a family, including two young children, were asleep in their house on Richmond Park Avenue, in Kimberworth.

Mr Coxon said the homeowner noticed a kitchen window open when she went to the gym at around 5.20am on April 30.

When she returned she saw her handbag on the kitchen floor and noticed items – including a Breitling watch, laptops and purses – were missing.

Police arrested Smith a few hours later in Sheffield and discovered him still wearing the watch.

Smith, of Skelton Lane, Woodhouse, pleaded guilty to three charges of burglary and one of attempted burglary.

Andrew Swaby, defending, said Smith committed burglaries to feed his long-standing drug habit and was ‘highly likely’ to commit further offences if he did not address his addiction.

Jailing Smith for seven years, judge Wright said: “You have caused untold upset and anxiety to a number of families.

“You have an awful record with a substantial list of previous convictions.”