Sheffield burglar wins reduction in his prison sentence

Jonathan Messenger. Jailed for burglary.
Jonathan Messenger. Jailed for burglary.
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A thug jailed for smashing his way into an 86-year-old man’s home in a ‘shocking and frightening’ raid has had his sentence cut.

Jonathan Edward Messenger, aged 32, and two teenage accomplices, left Walter Jackson scared to be alone after they ransacked his home in Gleadless, Sheffield.

Serial offender Messenger, of Fairleigh, Manor, was jailed for six years at Sheffield Crown Court in May after pleading guilty to burglary.

But, after challenging the length of his sentence at London’s Court of Appeal, judges reduced his jail term by a quarter to four-and-a-half years.

Mrs Justice Cox said Mr Jackson woke up from his sleep to find Messenger, and two teenagers aged 16 and 17, in his home with police officers, who had been alerted to the break-in by a neighbour.

The pensioner told police the break-in had been a ‘shocking and frightening’ experience.

Jailing Messenger in Sheffield in May, Judge Peter Kelson told him he may not have been the prime-mover but he was the oldest involved.

But Messenger’s barrister, James Gould, argued the six-year term imposed was too harsh – and the appeal court agreed.

Mrs Justice Cox said: “This was undoubtedly a serious burglary, aggravated by the fact the victim was elderly and vulnerable and it was committed at night time.

“On the other hand, the offence appears to have been opportunistic and the stolen property was recovered.”