Prolific Cheltenham burglar Stephen Sexton is sentenced
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A prolific burglar has been sentenced to four years and eight months in prison following an investigation by the Cheltenham Neighbourhood Policing and Local Investigation teams.
Stephen Sexton, aged 40 and of Humber Road appeared at Gloucester Crown Court on Monday (15 June) where he was sentenced after pleading guilty to three counts of dwelling burglary, one count of dwelling burglary with theft, one count of attempted dwelling burglary with intent to steal and one count of handling stolen goods.
Sexton was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge fee of £170.
Police were called to a property on Rosehill Street on the morning of Monday 18 February 2019 where it was reported that a burglary had taken place.
The victim's neighbour reported seeing a man who was later identified as Sexton cycling away from the address with a rucksack full of their personal belongings, the victim returned to find that phones, iPads and jewellery had been stolen.
Forensic enquires were carried out at the address and analysis took place on a jacket popper which was seized from the bathroom, the results produced a mixed DNA profile which included Sexton's DNA and this lead to officers taking part in proactive patrols in the area.
Two burglaries were also reported at properties above the Whittle Inn pub, Brockworth on Saturday 13 April 2019; CCTV from the premises was secured and this showed a man matching Sexton's appearance arriving with a woman.
He was also seen going up the stairs to the first floor before disappearing into the two flats that were burgled.
The footage also showed him re-appearing sometime later carrying a large quantity of goods stolen from the flats, this footage was watched by an officer who confirmed that it was Sexton and a PlayStation stolen in one of the incidents was later identified as having been sold to CEX in Gloucester on the same day.
Police were also called to Grebe Gardens in Brockworth the following day (Sunday 14 April) where it was reported that someone had entered the property whilst the homeowner was inside. It was later found that an unknown offender had searched the property before stealing the victim's handbag and mobile phone and then leaving via their back door.
Officers investigating these burglaries arrested Sexton on 30 April 2019 before recovering a number of items that he discarded whilst trying to run away, these items included store cards which were stolen during one of the Brockworth burglaries as well as others in the name of the Grebe Gardens burglary victim.
Sexton was later released on police bail for 28 days before being postal charged in connection with the investigations.
Sexton's offending continued at the beginning of this year when police were called to a property on Prestbury Road on the evening of Monday 27 January where it was reported that an unknown offender had gained entry before stealing a laptop, five radio controlled helicopters and a Traktor branded mixing deck.
Police were also called back to the area later that day where an attempted burglary at a neighbouring property was reported after the homeowner received an alert from their home security system and spotted Sexton acting suspiciously.
Enquiries linked Sexton to both of the incidents and he was arrested on Wednesday 5 February before being charged and remanded in custody.
Sexton's co-defendant Jennifer Loach, 35 and of Guan Road in Brockworth was
also issued with a 12 month conditional discharge and £60 in fines after pleading guilty following a postal charge of handling stolen goods.
PC James Ford, investigating officer for the 2019 offences said: "Sexton’s conviction is the result of good work by SOCO, who were able to forensically link Sexton to the scene of the initial burglary in Cheltenham, and the good work of PCSO Steve Yetton and the Cheltenham Neighbourhood Team, who subsequently arrested Sexton and recovered stolen cards from the burglaries in Brockworth.
"I also must thank the victims for their patience during the investigation and the long process that lead to getting this case to court. I hope the victims can find some comfort in the sentence and the fact that Sexton will not be able to burgle anyone else for some time.
"However, Sexton stole large quantities of property from the victims; he rooted through their belongings and stole as much as he could physically carry. Aside from one PS4 console and some store cards none of that property was ever recovered and much of it cannot be replaced."
PC Martin Hayward, investigating officer for the 2020 offences said: "I am pleased that we were able to secure this conviction against Sexton and I would like to thank the members of the public who helped with the investigation as we may not have been able to get to this stage without them.
"Sexton's offending caused problems for a number of people living in the Prestbury and Whaddon areas and myself and colleagues from the Cheltenham Neighbourhood Policing Team hope that his victims can finally feel some closure."