January 31, 2020 3.23 pm This story is over 52 months old

Man raided Gainsborough home while devastated family slept

He has now been jailed

A burglar who ransacked a home in Gainsborough while a family were asleep was jailed for four years on Friday.

Shane Towland, 38, from Doncaster, was linked to the raid at a family property in Ulster Road, Gainsborough.

Entry was forced through the garage with two raiders getting in through a connecting door into the kitchen during the evening of November 18 last year.

Lincoln Crown Court heard a man living at the house looked out of the window at 5.30am and noticed the family’s VW Scirocco was missing from the driveway where it had been parked overnight.

Robert Sandford, prosecuting, said: “He then found the garage door had been forced and his property had been entered and items stolen.

“Somebody had opened the internal door from the garage into the kitchen. Almost all of the cupboards and drawers in the kitchen had been opened and ransacked. He saw that the car keys were missing.”

Mr Sandford said that police checked out CCTV and Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras and saw the Scirocco being driven out of Gainsborough in convoy with a BMW 320 with both vehicles heading for Doncaster.

The BMW was found in the Doncaster area with Towland driving. A search was carried out and a laptop and a mobile phone stolen in the burglary were found on Towland.

Mr Sandford told the court: “The burglary took place jointly with another person then the BMW and the Scirocco were driven back to Doncaster in convoy. It was a planned operation.”

When Towland was interviewed by police he claimed he went to Gainsborough to meet a woman whom he later discovered was a police officer. He denied going to the town to commit burglary.

Mr Sandford said the burglary has had a huge impact on the victims who described themselves as being “crippled” by the effects of the raid.

In a victim impact statement which was read out in court one of the family said their six-year-old son had been left petrified by the burglary which had hugely impacted them all.

Towland, of Docking Hill Road, Doncaster, admitted burglary on November 18 last year and a further charge of theft of the VW Scirocco.

He also admitted two charges of driving while disqualified, two charges of driving without insurance and possession of a small amount of cannabis found on him when he was arrested.

Cheryl Dudley, for Towland, said he had now reflected seriously on his offending and helped to recover the family’s car.

Passing sentence Judge Simon Hirst told Towland the burglary was aggravated by his criminal record and the impact on his victims.

The judge said: “The child of the family is six. He is described as petrified. He cries regularly and checks CCTV before he goes downstairs in the morning.”

Towland was also banned from driving for two years on his release.