August 24, 2022 2.17 pm This story is over 14 months old

Woman wakes to find burglar wandering inside home, thief avoids jail

She bravely challenged her

A house burglar who stole a car from a home in Louth after she was disturbed by the owner was given a suspended jail sentence.

Rachael Buckett, 38, was found wandering inside the property in Sandringham Drive after waking the female owner who was asleep downstairs due to her medical condition.

Lincoln Crown Court heard Buckett had entered the house just before 2am through an unlocked door while the owner’s daughter and grandson remained asleep upstairs.

The owner woke up and became aware of a figure moving towards her conservatory where she kept her bag and car keys.

Buckett was challenged by the home owner who twice demanded: “Who are you, what do you want?”

The court heard Buckett remained silent and walked straight out of the house through the living room.

A short time later police stopped the home owner’s Nissan Qashqai car which had been crashed by Buckett in Kenwick Road.

The car was also found to contain a laptop, bottles of gin and £30 in coins which were stolen by Buckett during the house burglary.

Buckett, of Witham Lodge, Skegness, pleaded guilty to burglary, theft of a car and driving without insurance and a licence on 8 July this year.

Terry Boston, mitigating, told the court Buckett had recently “lost everything” after becoming involved in a coercive relationship.

“That man demanded £1,000 from her and made threats to her family,” Mr Boston added. “That is why she committed the burglary.

“Her mother has since paid the money, but the defendant will not disclose the name of the man.”

Mr Boston said Buckett had also suffered the recent death of her younger brother and had returned to drugs use, smoking crack-cocaine.

The court heard Buckett was currently living in Skegness but wished to make a fresh start in another resort.

Passing sentence Recorder Matthew Boyle told Buckett she had committed a serious offence, but he accepted she had been in a coercive relationship and had lost everything.

“You have lost your home, your children and your brother,” Recorder Boyle told her.

Buckett was sentenced to 14 months imprisonment suspended for two years, and must also complete 30 rehabilitation activity days.