Jail for Mansfield burglar who was discovered in family's kitchen 'after he was mistaken for a rat'

A Mansfield burglar has been jailed after he was discovered by a home-owner lurking in his kitchen in the early hours of the morning.

Thursday, 27th May 2021, 4:17 pm

John Readman admitted carrying out the early-morning burglary on November 2 last year when he appeared at Nottingham Crown Court on Thursday.

Readman, 38, of Austin Close, Mansfield, had been due to be sentenced for the offence in January but failed to attend the hearing and had been in custody ever since.

Prosecuting, Caroline Sellars said the homeowners had been disturbed by noises coming from the downstairs of their property on Hibbert Road in the town and the husband had gone to investigate - discovering Readman downstairs wearing dark clothing.

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John Readman appeared before Nottingham Crown Court

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She told the court: “The house was being renovated and some of the rooms were having some work done on them. The wife said that she could hear some noise coming from downstairs and she thought it might be rats, because they’d had issues with them before.

“He saw a stranger, who was later identified as the defendant, wearing dark clothes and was carrying a drill in one hand and a Stanley knife in the other, both belonging to the victim.

“He asked him what he was doing in the house, and the defendant replied ‘sorry, mate’ and he handed the items over.

“He initially said that he had been tricked into entering the house and said that his mother was unwell and would be angry, and asked them not to call the police.”

Readman had then become angry, causing the husband to ask his wife to tell police to hurry and, when searched, her bank card was found in his possession and her purse had been opened, she said.

The court was told Readman, who may have entered the property due to a faulty latch on the front door, has 40 convictions for 85 previous offences – including numerous thefts and other dishonesty offences and three precious domestic burglaries.

Readman also admitted breaching his bail conditions by not attending the earlier hearing.

The court was told he had not kept to the terms of an electronically-monitored curfew.

In mitigation, Chris Brewin told the court: “His curfew was breached when his relationship broke down. What seems to have happened is that the relationship fell away and his support network disappeared, and he started abusing drugs again.”

Sentencing Readman to 10 months in prison, Judge Julie Warburton told him that the offence was made more serious because of his previous record and because children were present at the time of the burglary.

She said: “The householder and his family were present at the address, and at 2am he came downstairs and he found you in the kitchen holding items of his property.

“You claimed that you had been tricked into entering the house, although I’m not sure where that came from.

“You then became angry, and he had to tell his wife to ask the police to hurry.”

Judge Warburton ruled the time served on remand would come off the period Readman will spend in prison, along with a further 40 days he had served on the home curfew.

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