Teen burglar broke into home and butcher’s shop

A teenage burglar who raided a Sheffield house while one of its occupants was home alone has been put behind bars.

Wednesday, 27th March 2019, 4:20 pm
Updated Friday, 29th March 2019, 4:48 pm
Reardon Cronin was jailed for 12 months during a hearing held at Sheffield Crown Court yesterday

Reardon Cronin, 18, broke into a property in Cardwell Avenue, Woodhouse on November 15 last year, while one of the occupants, a 17-year-old boy, was home alone.

Cronin, along with at least one other, gained access to the property by breaking a ground floor window using a spade he stole from the adjoining garden shed.

“The boy heard banging from the rear of the house. He went downstairs to investigate..and found the bathroom window had been smashed. He called 999 at the banging coming from other parts of the house continued,” prosecutor, Michael Tooley, told Sheffield Crown Court.

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The Recorder of Sheffield, Judge Jeremy Richardson QC, said: “The young man must have been quite alarmed.”

By the time police arrived at the scene Cronin and his associate had already left, but Cronin’s DNA was found on a blood-stained t-shirt he left at the scene that was subsequently taken for analysis.

The occupants found that most of the upstairs bedrooms had been searched and that various items, including jewellery and an iPod, with a combined value of £3,800 had been stolen.

Cronin struck again in the early hours of January 18 this year, when he and a second male broke into Crawshaw’s Butchers in Hillsborough Barracks.

Mr Tooley said the two men were caught attempting to flee the scene, after a quick-thinking member of the public called the police.

Both men was arrested, and Cronin subsequently pleaded guilty to charges of dwelling house burglary and burglary at an earlier hearing.

His associate is set to be dealt with separately, due to additional criminal charges that are currently pending.

Lucy Hogarth, defending, said Cronin was ‘effectively exploited’ by others into committing the offences and was homeless at the time.

The court was told that Cronin’s dad, who suffered from paranoid schizophrenia, died in 2016, and his mother had a number of her own personal difficulties.

Prior to passing sentence, Judge Richardson spoke directly to Gary Cronin, Cronin’s grandfather, who had been sat in the public gallery and asked him whether he would be able to offer the teen support after his release from prison.

“Are you going to be able to take him under your wing,” asked Judge Richardson.

Mr Cronin replied: “We want to be able to bring him close to us...it’s been terrible for him.”

Judge Richardson jailed Cronin for 12 months, after reducing it from an initial starting point of 18 months.

He told him: “I want to give you a chance, that’s why I’m lowering your sentence from where it ought to be. I’m being really merciful to you. There’s an element of punishment to your sentence, but there’s also an element of mercy.”