Swansea burglar claimed he’d scared off neighbour’s real thieves
A MAN who burgled his own neighbour's property claimed to police that he had just stopped three others from stealing from it.
Stewart Travers, of Jeffreys Court, Penlan, pleaded guilty to burglary and affray at Swansea Crown Court.
Prosecuting, Ian Ibrahim told the court that his victim was neighbour Corey Corbett.
"The flat, 39 Jeffrey Court, is a one- bedroom flat, and the defendant lives in flat 37, which is next door to Mr Corbett," said Mr Ibrahim.
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"On November 22 last year, Mr Corbett was home with his girlfriend, who came around to visit, and he left the flat with his girlfriend during the afternoon."
Mr Ibrahim said that during the evening a resident on the floor below heard a noise, which he described as a dragging sound, from above.
He went up to the flat, and saw the door to number 39 wide open and damaged, and then called the neighbourhood support team.
They managed to track down Mr Corbett by around 10pm, who was at his father's house five to 10 minutes away.
When he arrived, he noticed one of the locks was hanging off his new front door, and on entering the flat described it as having been ransacked.
"Various items were missing, but he first noticed that his mountain bike was gone," said Mr Ibrahim.
"He'd just tidied up the flat, because he was having a visitor, and said it was looking like a bomb had gone off."
The court heard that Mr Corbett looked through the letterbox into the defendant's flat and spotted some of his property.
He asked the wardens if they could open the door, but they refused because the police were on their way. The defendant eventually answered and was immediately confronted by Mr Corbett.
"He said he had nothing to do with it, that three others had done it, he'd seen them and scared them off," said Mr Ibrahim.
"He said he had taken the property into his own flat for safe keeping."
Items stolen included a microwave — with baked beans still in it from the morning — a computer, the mountain bike and clothing.
The affray matter had taken place on July 2 when Travers had approached an old friend as he left his home, calling him a mug.
The claimant shouted back at the defendant, before Travers threatened to rip his head off.
The claimant then walked off, unconsciously making his way to his mother-in-law's home in Ceri Road, where Travers found him and began to approach him holding a baseball bat in the air.
It was also agreed that Travers had breached a previous order. Ian Wright, mitigating, said: "No violence was used, the bat was held up, but was not swung at the complainant.
"All the property was recovered undamaged and the burglary was not completed in the hours of darkness."
Judge Huw Davies QC sentenced Travers to eight months in prison, suspended for 18 months, and ordered him to complete 150 hours of unpaid work.
For affray, he was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, to run concurrently.
But both new sentences will run consecutively to a previous suspended sentence order, which was extended to 18 months.
Judge Davies described the burglary as a particularly vindictive offence.
He said: "You removed a substantial amount of his property, and in the circumstances, he didn't have a great deal of property of his own in any event."