Burglar raided the house next door

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A MAN burgled his next-door neighbour’s home in Doncaster and stole £1,135 of electrical equipment while she was out, a court heard.

Michael McMinn, aged 34, was jailed for eight months after admitting the burglary on Wentworth Road, Wheatley, in October last year.

Mother-of-two Kimberley Rowland, aged 25, had left home in the evening to visit a fair but when she returned at 10.40pm she found the back patio door had been forced.

A 42-inch television, Xbox console and games, an iPad and a BlackBerry phone had been stolen, said Neil Coxon, prosecuting at Sheffield Crown Court.

New locks were required, there was £50 damage to an internal door and none of the property was recovered.

Police traced McMinn after finding a blood sample near where the TV had been and DNA tests confirmed it was the defendant.

He was arrested 11 days later and went on to tell officers ‘Obviously I have done this’ and ‘If people are going to be stupid and leave their patio doors open’.

Miss Rowland in a victim impact statement said: “This has made me feel sick. I’m scared to be in my own home.

“I have already arranged with my mum to move back in with her.”

Mr Coxon said Ms Rowland has been treated for depression and is now on anti-depressants. Her husband was away in the Army and she felt exposed and vulnerable.

McMinn has numerous convictions for deception, handling and shop thefts and was serving a community order for battery at the time of the offence.

Cedric Hennis, defence solicitor for McMinn, said it was not a pre-planned burglary and there was nothing in his criminal record to suggest he was a burglar, only previous offences of low-level dishonesty and possessing Class A drugs.

Judge Rosalind Coe told McMinn: “The victim is particularly distressed not just because her home has been violated but in the absence of any insurance those items have been lost.

“This has clearly had a significant effect on her.”

The community order was revoked.