A GANG which ‘ransacked’ a home while the owners were on holiday has been jailed.
Lithuanian nationals Vladimiras Bajukovas, 25, Darius Kalcinskis, 23, and Eimantas Kricenas, 23, smashed a window to gain entry to the Midhurst property overnight on May 15 this year, stealing computer equipment, aftershave, and jewellery of sentimental value.
Prosecuting, Miss Charmaine Wilson said: “The son of the property owners had been due to stay at the property but went the day after the burglary. He described it as feeling violated.”
All three were found guilty after a two-day trial at Chichester Magistrates’ Court on October 22 and were sentenced at Chichester Crown Court on Thursday (November 12) to three years in prison, to serve half in custody and the remainder on licence. They were also ordered to pay various costs.
Police were alerted to the burglary after a neighbour saw two men scaling his back fence, running towards an Audi sports car. Police followed the vehicle south along the A286 before it was pulled over in Kingsley Green.
A large hammer was found in the boot along with computer equipment stolen from the property.
Sentencing the gang, Judge Henson said: “All of you have previous convictions. This burglary was committed at night and it is only fortunate the occupants were on holiday.
“You all maintained your not guilty pleas, therefore you get no credit because none of you have admitted your guilt.
“Burglary of dwelling houses is always serious - it is a violation of people’s homes and the trauma to victims cannot be underestimated.”
Defending Bajukovas and Kalcinskis, Mr Yogesh Patel said the two men had come to the UK from Lithuania four years ago.
He said of Bajukovas: “He and his brother have been sending their wages home to their family.
“He realises the impact this will have on his parents at home and his brother, who will have to work doubly hard to support his family.”
Mr Patel said of Kalcinskis: “He lived in a children’s home before he came to the UK. He came here to get a better life.”
However Her Honour Judge Henson QC said: “He has been before the courts rather a lot hasn’t he?”
Defending Kricenas, Mr David Bathurst said: “He did not benefit from the escapade and he is adamant he was drawn into it by his comrades.”
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