Burglar jailed

Alan Spendlow
Alan Spendlow

A SERIAL burglar has been jailed for two years for stealing £3,500 worth of jewellery from a house, while the occupants shopped in Market Weighton.

Father-of-four Alan Spendlow, 56, targeted Woldsway Cottage, in Goodmanham, while the owners were shopping at Tesco. He stole their jewellery and then sold the lot. None of the items taken have since been recovered.

Spendlow drove out from Hull to target a quiet village, looking for empty driveways and houses with no sign of life on 13 December last year.

He forced open French doors, causing £500 worth of damage, and searched upstairs and downstairs bedrooms. He found a jewellery box and stole watches to the value of £3,500. He left his own blood at the scene – leading police to identify him by his DNA. He made no comment in police interview.

Spendlow has a record for crime going back to 1971 with seven house burglaries. He was jailed in 2007 for three years at York Crown Court for four house burglaries and two non-dwelling house burglaries.

Spendlow, of Cholmley Street, Hull, pleaded guilty to one charge of burglary and appeared at court in police custody for sentence last Monday.

Crown barrister Bernard Gateshill said the female home owner told police: “I feel my home has been violated. I could not initially live at home because of what he had done and spent time living on our boat.”

Defence barrister John Thackray admitted Spendlow’s criminal record was poor, but said it was an unsophisticated crime that was bound to be detected because he left blood at the scene.

“He fell on hard times and was in a difficult financial position,” said Mr Thackray.

“He has brought his four children up alone since his wife left him 18 years ago. Two of the eldest have had domestic difficulties with the law, but the youngest aged 19 and 22 have gone on extremely well.

“He has a new respectable partner in his life who was shocked by what he has done.”

Recorder Darren Preston told Spendlow: “You are a career burglar. You don’t need me to tell you why burglaries are serious.

“The word violated has been mentioned. When people’s homes are burgled it is more than the sense of financial loss, but the feeling of violation.”

He said he had taken into account his ill health, but said if he had fought at trial he would have jailed him for three years. Spendlow was jailed for two years.