Derbyshire burglar drove off in householder’s car as she slept, court hears

A Derbyshire drug addict drove off in a householder’s car after walking into her home through an unlocked door and taking her keys, a court heard.

Friday, 6th May 2022, 12:30 pm

Ian Wallis, 32, also made off with a bottle of Hendricks gin and a Stella McCartney bag worth £600 during the late-night raid while his victim was asleep in bed.

Derby Crown Court heard that later the same night of the Heanor burglary - at around 1.30am on April 24 last year - police arrested “intoxicated” Wallis as tried to flee on foot.

Prosecutor Thomas Welshman described how police spotted him in the vehicle until he drove “erratically” down a dead end.

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Ian Wallis drove off in a householder’s car after walking into her home through an unlocked door

Mr Welshman said: “The defendant got out and started to run away - he threw a bottle at the officers who were chasing him which smashed, he then tripped over and the officers detained him.”

In a statement read out to the court the female victim described feeling “anxious” in her home for “months” after the burglary.

Mr Welshman said: “Her son was in the house and she has often thought about how things could have been worse.”

The court heard she was also left with a speeding ticket thanks to Wallis’ driving.

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The court heard Wallis had 14 convictions for 43 offences but had not offended since 2016 prior to April 24 last year.

Stephen Cooper, defending, said Wallis had begun drug rehabilitation at the time of the offence but was “still very much in the grip of his addictions”.

Mr Cooper said Wallis was “genuinely remorseful” but had “worked very hard” at working on his drug issues after “years of addictions”.

Wallis, of Market Street, Heanor, admitted burglary and theft of a motor vehicle.

Recorder Simon King told him: “People who burgle other people’s homes at night when there might be people present go to prison.”

However the judge noted there were “good reasons” to suspend his jail term - as he was now drug-free with help from support services, had secure accommodation and the was a “very real prospect” of rehabilitation in Wallis’s case.

He was jailed for 18 months suspended for two years with a 12-month mental health treatment requirement.

The defendant was also handed 20 rehabilitation activity days, a six-month drug rehabilitation requirement and 80 hours unpaid work.

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