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Man so drunk he does not remember Christmas Eve break-in
10:10am Thursday 20th February 2014 in Local News
AN alcoholic burglar who targeted a Canvey home on Christmas Eve has escaped a jail term.
Danny Lane, 34, smashed a kitchen window and got into the house in Elm Road, before stealing more than £700 of consoles and games.
Police were able to track him down through blood left on shattered glass and he has been remanded in custody since his arrest on December 30.
Basildon Crown Court heard the homeowner returned to his property after festive drinks at about 1.40am on Christmas Day to discover the damage.
Some of the stolen games had been left scattered across the back garden, but were destroyed by the rain.
Through a victim impact statement, the scaffolder revealed he is now too anxious to leave his house and struggles to sleep.
Lane, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to one count of burglary, but admitted he could not remember much about the break-in as he was drunk at the time.
Richard Cliffe, mitigating, said: “He is a chronic alcoholic. He attributes his offending fully to his alcohol use. He knows he needs help and he knows the damage it has done to his relationships.
“The challenge for Mr Lane is what he will do after he is released from custody.”
In August, Lane was given a conditional discharge for a year after admitting stealing a blue badge from a car, but went on to commit the Christmas Eve burglary.
Judge John Lodge sentenced him to nine months in prison, suspended for 18 months.
He must also complete a supervision order with the probation service and undergo a 12-month course of alcohol addiction treatment.
Addressing Lane, Judge Lodge said: “House burglary is a very serious offence and this is the second time you have been convicted.
“Sending you to prison would only protect members of the public for a short time and would not solve your alcohol problems.
“I take the view it’s better to suspend the sentence, so you will be supervised for a longer period of time.
“Let me make it clear it is not a soft option, the soft option would be to lock you up for a few months.”