Sheffield burglar who raided home as 12-year-old girl slept upstairs is jailed

A Sheffield man, who carried out a series of burglaries including one at a house where a 12-year-old girl was sleeping upstairs, has been jailed for more than two years.
A Sheffield man, who carried out a series of burglaries including one at a house where a 12-year-old girl was sleeping upstairs, has been jailed for more than two years.
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A Sheffield man, who carried out a series of burglaries including one at a house where a 12-year-old girl was sleeping upstairs, has been jailed for more than two years.

Sheffield Crown Court heard how at the block of flats John Dickinson lived at in Brightmore Drive, Walkley residents were instructed to leave their keys with a concierge when leaving the flat and to pick them back up on returning to the property.

On October 28 last year, Dickinson, now of no fixed abode, was accidentally given the keys to one of his neighbour's flats when he went to pick up his own.

On realising this, Dickinson went into his neighbour's flat and stole his phone, £150 in cash and a silver watch worth £399.

The next day, on October 29, the 20-year-old struck again and broke into a house at Bowsure Close in Batemoor at around 6.30am as the owner of the house and her 12-year-old daughter slept upstairs.

Prosecuting, David Wain, told the court: "The door had been left unlocked. He stole the home owner's bank cards, her daughter's game console and her Seat Ibiza worth £3,500.

"The cards were used throughout the day. First at McDonald's at around 7.35am that day for a sum of around £4, and then for a sum of £25."

Mr Wain told the court that Dickinson continued trying to use the cards, but was refused a number of times. Despite this he continued to attempt to use the cards, and the police were informed.

He was arrested on suspicion of burglary at a shop in Compo Lane in Sheffield City Centre at around 3pm that day, after trying to use the card there.

In a victim impact statement, the owner of the house in Bowsure Close told the court: "It's an unbearable feeling to know my daughter and I were in bed and a stranger came in to our house.

"I don't feel safe anymore, I want to move."

Dickinson pleaded guilty to a number of offences relating to the two incidents, including burglary and fraud by false representation.

Judge Paul Watson QC sentenced Dickinson to 29 months in prison.

He said: "I can see you're a young man with a lot of problems, and if the offences for which I was dealing were any less serious than burglary I might have tried very hard to see if there was any way of stopping you from going to prison.

"Offences of burglary carry a minimum term in prison."