May 27, 2016 8.46 am This story is over 90 months old

Lincoln student jailed for burglary spree

Remorseful student with drink problem targeted West End homes

A University of Lincoln student who carried out a series of house burglaries has been jailed for 14 months.

William Barron, a second year English student, carried out the raids over a three month period including four burglaries where he confronted householders in their own homes during the night.

Lincoln Crown Court was told that Barron targeted houses in the city’s West End and continued his burglary spree until he was arrested when police discovered him in the early hours of a February morning in the front garden of a property carrying stolen property wrapped inside a bed sheet.

His barrister Michael Cranmer-Brown told the court “This is a young man with absolutely no history of offending.

“On a number of nights he has drunk to excess. He obviously had a drink problem and for reasons he cannot begin to explain he committed these serious dwelling house burglaries.

“There does not appear to have been any acquisitive motive behind the offences. He doesn’t sell on the stolen property. It is bizarre behaviour.

“This is a young man who is wracked with guilt. He cannot understand how he behaved in the way he did. He has devastated his parents.

“He is staring down the barrel of an immediate custodial sentence. Clearly that is going to be a very difficult experience for him mixing, no doubt, with the type of people he has never come across before.

“He is full of remorse for the victims. There is no real explanation for it. It was done while in drink without any real purpose to it.”

Mr Cranmer-Brown said that a psychological report had revealed Barron had suffered “serious emotional difficulties” during his adolescent and student years. Barron, he said, had a drink problem and has been treated for depression.

Andrew Scott, prosecuting, said Barron’s victims were mainly students attending the same university but also included a mother of four who was woken in the early hours when Barron entered her home.

The woman went downstairs to investigate and while she was calling police Barron walked into her living room. He fled with an iPad after the woman started screaming at him to get out of her house.

In another raid Barron stole a laptop containing the course work a fellow student whose studies were badly affected by what happened.

Mr Scott said that Barron struck at houses around the West End including Newland Street West, Richmond Road, Gresham Street, May Crescent and York Avenue.

Barron, 23, of Crossgate Moor, Durham, admitted six charges of house burglary carried out on dates between 15 November and 21 February.

He asked for five further offences to be taken into consideration including one house burglary and two attempt house burglaries. He was jailed for 14 months.

Judge John Pini QC said “This case is an absolute tragedy for you and your parents. I totally understand how you feel, tortured with guilt at the way you have let them down and let yourself down.

“But I have to sentence you not for one dwelling burglary but for six, four of them when the occupier was in at night-time. They were confronted by you. There are five further offences to be taken into consideration as well.”