A BURGLAR has admitted forcing his way into a woman’s home to steal a variety of items along with her car worth nearly £5,000.

Courtenay Challis could be facing jail time following the break-in and subsequent theft in Benfleet last year.

The 24-year-old was caught following the raid at the Benfleet home in Hill Road on February 9 last year.

Challis broke into the house as a trespasser, and during a search of the property, stole a Garmin Watch and a bowl at an unknown value.

Challis also took a set of keys for the owner of the property’s Renault Clio, which he then unlocked and drove away from the drive.

The car was worth approximately £4,350.

Challis, of Charlton Crescent, Barking, was later caught with the vehicle and arrested after the authorities realised it had been stolen.

Appearing at Basildon Crown Court, dressed in a simple black Hugo Boss T-shirt and wearing a disposable face mask, showed little emotion as he entered guilty pleas to burglary and theft of a motor vehicle.


The court heard that Challis has had “trouble” in the past with drugs, but now he has enrolled on courses to improve himself and his situation in life.

Judge Ian Graham was told that Challis had carried out the raid during a “downward spiral” in his life, but he was now addressing it.

The Judge remarked that Challis had committed a “fairly well planned dwellinghouse burglary”.

Despite initial requests to be sentenced immediately, Judge Graham chose to adjourn Challis’ sentencing for a month to allow for probation to provide updates on his drug rehabilitation.

Judge Graham told Challis: “These are serious offences and you have a very poor record, but I am prepared to have explained the changes in your life since these charges have been committed.

“It’s in your best interests to co-operate fully with the probation service.”

Challis was released on bail until the sentencing hearing.

Judge Graham added: “I’m not giving you any indication to what the final outcome will be.”