Burglar struck as the victim slept upstairs

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A neighbour was given a “one and only chance” after raiding the home of a vulnerable man who was asleep upstairs.

Derby Crown Court heard that Reece Mackender had been drinking before the offence and now wanted to apologise to the victim who has learning problems and was left shocked after waking to find evidence of the burglary.

Mackender, 20, of Bolehill Court, Chesterfield, was subsequently sentenced to an 18-month jail term suspended for two years after he admitted burglary. He was also given 200 hours of community work and he must wear an electronic monitoring tag as part of a three-month curfew.

Recorder Stephen Lownes said he considered custody: ”With some reluctance, I am going to take a risk on the basis this is your first appearance before this court and that may shake you up. This is your one and only chance.”

Christopher Geeson, prosecuting, said the offence took place in the early hours of July 26 when Mackender stole several small items including a £50 model car.

He said: “The occupant was asleep and present during the burglary although thankfully he didn’t wake.”

Annette Thomas, defending, said Mackender had been drinking and he has no previous convictions for burglary and he is very embarrassed and humiliated and apologises.

Mrs Thomas described the offence as an “impulsive action” and that Mackender reached into the house “with his legs dangling from the window”.