June 26, 2019 11.27 am This story is over 53 months old

Couple said £20k burglary raids were to fund ‘the cost of living’

They stole thousands of pounds worth of items.

A couple who carried out a series of burglaries were arrested after police raided their home and discovered a stash of stolen goods, Lincoln Crown Court was told.

Reece Howard and his then partner Sarah Lake targeted properties in the Boston and Horncastle areas, stealing thousands of pounds worth of items.

Sarah Munro, prosecuting, said that properties in Horncastle, Boston and Mareham le Fen were targeted by the couple in the autumn of last year.

Miss Munro told the court: “On November 4 last year a number of police officers went to Lake’s home address. Howard was at the house.

“There was a large amount of property in the house and in two cars which were outside. Lake said she did not have any connection with the cars.

“A search revealed property that had been stolen in the burglaries. There is evidence that each of them had been offering to sell items that had been stolen from the houses.”

In total, electrical items and other property worth almost £20,000 was stolen in the raids.

Reece Howard, 26, of St Michaels Lane, Wainfleet admitted two charges of burglary together with two charges of handling stolen goods.

Sarah Lake, 37, of Small End, Friskney, admitted two charges of burglary and two charges of handling stolen goods. The offences took place between October 22 and November 5, 2018.

Each of them also asked for burglary of a house at Chapel Lane, Addlethorpe to be taken into consideration. Howard was jailed for 40 months and Lake was jailed for 31 months.

Sunil Khanna, for Howard, said his client was released from a prison sentence imposed for a driving offence but found himself homeless as his partner had ended their relationship.

“Things were complicated further by the fact that his application for benefits was not going through and he was left for months on end with no money whatsoever.

“He started a relationship with his co-defendant. Money was extremely tight. He tried to get work but he was toxic for most employers having come out of a custodial sentence.

“There is no drugs background. This was entirely down to the fact that they had no money.”

Mr Khanna said that since being arrested Howard has been reconciled with his previous partner and is now receiving benefits.

Neil Sands, for Lake, told the court: “It was desperation. Until recently she held down four part-time jobs. She was trying to make ends meet but she was failing and the rent arrears got to £1,500.

“She wasn’t living a lavish lifestyle. It was simply the cost of living.”