Burglar fails in bid to get sentence cut

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A burglar who stole from an elderly woman has failed in a bid for a lighter sentence.

Keiron Magee, 19, of Church Street, Market Deeping, took jewellery from the grandmother of one of his friends.

Magee was sent to a young offenders’ institution for 21 months at Lincoln Crown Court in February after he admitted burglary and breaching a community order.

However, his lawyers argued the sentence was “manifestly excessive” and appealed to the Court of Appeal. But three senior judges yesterday ruled he deserved every day of his term.

Mr Justice Sweeney told the court Magee was charged with battery after he hit a man who would not give him a cigarette in the street, and was bailed at Spalding Magistrates Court last year. While on bail, Magee went to the house of a friend’s 80-year-old grandmother whose husband was in hospital. He believed the woman was visiting her husband but she returned early and found him in her garden. Thinking he was waiting for her grandson, she invited Magee in, made him a drink and let him watch TV.

But Magee sneaked upstairs and stole four necklaces worth more than £1,000, .

He then pretended to be upset and left, but was arrested after a window was found to have been forced and his fingerprints were discovered in the bedroom.

Magee originally claimed he was not to blame, but later admitted he had stole the jewellery to pay off a drug debt. Lord Justice Hooper said it was a typical case of a drug addict targeting those he knew to fund his habit.

Lawyers for Magee yesterday claimed the sentencing judge over-estimated the seriousness of the burglary, and should have given more consideration to Magee’s young age.

But Mr Justice Sweeney, sitting with Lord Justice Hooper and Mr Justice Stadlen, upheld the sentence.

He said: “This burglary was in our view a bad offence of its type that fully merited the sentence imposed; it was committed in a most flagrant breach of trust.

“There is clearly trauma to the victim beyond the usual consequences of intrusion and theft. The victim was both elderly and vulnerable, present when the property was stolen and the property stolen was of high sentimental value.”