Man jailed for burgling Sheffield home of former foster mother and threatening police with knives

A 40-year-old man has been jailed after he broke into the Sheffield home of his former foster mother and threatened the police officers who came to arrest him with knives.

Wednesday, 2nd October 2019, 17:56 pm
David Layne, 40, has been jailed for offences of burglary, criminal damage and affray after he broke into the home of his former foster mother. Picture: South Yorkshire Police

David Layne broke into the Malin Bridge home of his former foster mother in the early hours of August 9 this year when she was at work, Sheffield Crown Court heard.

Layne drunkenly gained access to the property by forcing the back door with a tool, before carrying out an ‘untidy search’ and placing a number of items, including pieces of jewellery, into a bag to steal, said Susan Evans, prosecuting.

Ms Evans said a neighbour was alerted to the burglary by the noise made by Layne and called the police.

David Layne, 40, has been jailed for offences of burglary, criminal damage and affray after he broke into the home of his former foster mother. Picture: South Yorkshire Police

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They arrived on the scene a short time later and Layne, who carried out the burglary wearing a balaclava, armed himself with two knives and threatened police officers with them.

“The police officers gave the defendant a warning, and he retreated and went upstairs. He made a hole in the ceiling with a knife, and then made a hole in the roof,” said Ms Evans, adding that Layne then made his way onto the roof and began throwing roof tiles at police officers.

“He sat down and started shouting and swearing. He was shouting the name of the complainant and asked to speak to her,” said Ms Evans.

Layne eventually came down from the roof using a ladder provided by the fire service, by which time the complainant had returned to the property after being contacted by the police.

He was then arrested, but made no comment in police interview.

The court was told how Layne had been fostered by the victim as a child, and the pair had kept in touch over the years but had not spoken for some time when the burglary took place.

In a statement submitted to the court, the victim said the incident has had an ‘immense’ impact on her.

“I often end up questioning why me, of all people. I was the only person who was there for him through hard times. And this is how he repays me. I’m still in shock that it was him, and that he could do something like this,” she said.

Layne also caused damage to the roof of the adjoining property during the incident.

The victim estimated the total cost of repairs to her property as being £3,250.

Layne pleaded guilty to charges of burglary, affray and criminal damage at an earlier hearing.

Ms Evans said Layne was a ‘fifth if not sixth strike burglar,’ which means the minimum mandatory sentence of three years for a third strike burglar applies to him.

He was also on license when he committed this set of offences, after being jailed for seven-and-a-half years for robbery in May 2015.

Addressing Judge David Dixon, Clarkson Baptiste, defending, said Layne would like to ‘convey to Your Honour his deep remorse’.

“Upon being arrested for this, when he had sobered up and came to a realisation about what he had done found it very difficult to come to terms with his actions. He couldn’t explain why he had gone to that address and done what he had done. When asked about his relationship with her he became very tearful and described it as being very good,” said Mr Baptiste.

He added: “He’s someone who’s had a very troubled background, moved from home to home, from foster parent to foster parent. Although he had no problem with the complainant, there were people who didn’t treat him in the way society would expect.”

Judge Dixon jailed Layne for 52 months.