Jail for Bognor burglar punched in the face by female homeowner

Ian Dunstane shaved his head to escape detection, police said. Sussex Police picture
Ian Dunstane shaved his head to escape detection, police said. Sussex Police picture

A burglar who was punched in the face by a female homeowner as he raided her home in Bognor Regis has been jailed, police said.

Unemployed Ian Dunstane, 48, of Whitfield Close, Bognor, pleaded guilty to burglary with threat of violence and attempted burglary with intent to steal at Chichester Crown Court on Tuesday, January 5.


He was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment and was ordered to pay a £120 victim surcharge.

Police said Dunstane shaved his head bald to escape being caught after an E-Fit matching his descripton was released.

According to a police statement, at about 9.35am on November 26, 2015, Dunstane was confronted by a woman who had just returned to her home in Den Avenue to find him in standing in the hallway.

A tussle ensued, following which the woman punched the intruder in the face, and he made off from the scene having stolen a red Nike rucksack, a Sat Nav, two iPad minis, an Xbox limited edition console with controller, a Turtle beach ear force headset and £40 cash.

Earlier that day, at about 9am, Dunstane attempted to gain entry to the rear of another house in the same road, police said.

He was spotted in the garden with a jacket in one hand and a hammer in the other, and he ran back towards Den Avenue after being disturbed by the female occupant.

He was arrested on December 12, after DNA linking him to the crime scene was discovered at the burgled house.

Detective Constable Emma Fields said: “Ian Dunstane brazenly burgled a house - and attempted to burgle another in the same road - in broad daylight, close to the town centre.

“He was reported to us as having long, greasy hair, but prior to his arrest he had shaved his head.

“We believe this was a deliberate attempt to disguise his identity, after we issued an E-Fit matching his description, but he told us he shaved his head as he has alopecia and suffers from bald patches.

“We managed to link him to the burglary after forensics officers found saliva, believed to be from his mouth or nose after he was punched, on the wall by the stairs.

“Unfortunately for the victim, the items he stole have not been recovered, and it is unclear whether or not they ever will be.

“It is likely Dunstane had intended to sell these on to get some quick cash; instead, he got five years in jail.”

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