Man jailed following burglary in Landseer Road, Southampton
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A man has been jailed for three years following a burglary at an address in Landseer Road, Southampton in December.
Stuart Hitchiner, aged 47, of no fixed abode, admitted to burgling the property overnight on 17 December 2020 at a previous hearing.
Yesterday, (3 February), Hitchiner appeared at Southampton Crown Court and was sentenced to three years in prison.
The court heard how Hitchiner had gained entry to the property through an insecure window at the back of the house. The window had been left slightly open to allow a charging cable to run from the utility to the victims mobility scooter outside.
Once inside the utility room, Hitchiner smashed another window to gain entry to the main house.
Hitchiner was disturbed when the victim, a 90-year-old man, got up to use the bathroom.
Hitchiner stole a mobile phone, I-pad, passport, Christmas cards and a gift set containing three small bottles of port before leaving via the front door.
After leaving the bathroom, the victim noticed a light on downstairs and went down to find broken glass on the floor. Realising he had been burgled, he went back upstairs and called the police.
Hitchiner was identified after forensic examinations found his blood at the scene.
At the sentence hearing the victim’s step-daughter explained how the burglary affected the victim and his family. She said “Just hearing him tell me of his fear broke my heart.
“I can’t even imagine how he felt and what was going through his mind, I only know that the thought of him being so frightened tears the whole family apart.
“Due to the pandemic, my step father had been isolating and the only face to face contact occurred when my sister or myself came to his home to deliver shopping essentials or to assist with necessary household duties.
“The few items that were taken were not of great value but the phone and the iPad were his life line to the world, he was able to see his daughters, grandchildren and great grandchildren in South Africa and Australia.
“I hope that when this man, Mr Hitchiner, closes his eyes at night he feels the pain, the fear and the heartbreak he has caused to this gentle man and his family.”
DC Daniel Rainscourt , who works on Operation Hawk, said: “Residential burglaries are despicable crimes. The distress caused to victims is immeasurable.
“Stuart Hitchiner showed no regard for his elderly victim who would have undoubtedly felt terrified in his own home, the very place he should have felt the most safe.
“I welcome this sentence and I hope it reassures our communities that we take these offences very seriously and investigate all available lines of enquiry to identify those responsible and bring them to justice.”