A CROOK broke into a couple’s home to steal sentimental jewellery but was caught out due to his distinctive bright orange jacket.

Robert Polkinghorn’s victims say they no longer feel safe in their Leigh home after he raided it in broad daylight.

The 42-year-old smashed his way through the back doors of the home in Lymington Avenue on April 4 this year at midday, leaving glass covering the room.

Glass was scattered across items meant for the couple’s young child, who had only been born a month previously.

Polkinghorn then stole various items including an iPhone 6S, gift cards, handbags and a large amount of jewellery which had huge sentimental value.

Polkinghorn, of Wood Farm Close, Leigh, later admitted burglary and was sentenced at Basildon Crown Court.

Prosecuting, George Heimler said: “The defendant was captured on CCTV footage, not least because he was wearing an orange coat which made him quite distinctive.

“It shows him walking passed the address, returns and walks down an alley at the side of the property.”


Polkinghorn caused more than £3,000 of damage to the home, and the stolen items have never been recovered.

Echo: Jailed - Robert Polkinghorn

In a victim impact statement, the couple said: “Discovering a stranger had broken into our home was devastating. It [the glass] covered our baby’s play mat and bed.

“Even after a strong clean we had a strong paranoia that glass remained in our baby’s bed.

“We do not feel safe in our own home. The burglar took our entire jewellery collection, including a ring given by our nan and a family ring handed down.

“These items can’t be replaced.”

The court heard Polkinghorn had an entrenched drug addiction and that he raided the home out of desperation.

Emma Kutner, mitigating, said he was now remorseful.

She said: “He was in a vicious cycle of addiction, homelessness and returning to prison for many years.

“He had been in a hotel during the pandemic, his life taking a better turn, he was on benefits and had accommodation.

“At the start of the year that was abruptly taken from him. His benefits were removed and he found himself homeless again on the streets.

“He wants to explain he was in a state of desperation at this time.”

Judge Ian Graham jailed Polkinghorn for a total of two years and five months.