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Burglar pair jailed after £60,000 of jewellery stolen from Chigwell home

PUBLISHED: 09:51 11 November 2019 | UPDATED: 11:06 11 November 2019

James Bourke. Picture: Essex Police

James Bourke. Picture: Essex Police

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A pair of burglars will spend more than five years behind bars after they were convicted of a break-in in Chigwell where more than £60,000 worth of jewellery was stolen.

Thomas Large. Picture: Essex PoliceThomas Large. Picture: Essex Police

The burglary took place at an address in Fencepiece Road between 9am and 12pm on March 21.

Two men got inside by climbing on to a flat roof and then smashing an upstairs window before searching the victim's bedrooms and taking a beige laundry bag and jewellery worth at least £60,000.

A witness told officers from Essex Police that she had seen two men in her back garden on the same day, and described one of them as holding a cloth bag which looked like it had items inside.

She said the pair had jumped over her fence before going to the front of the house and onto Manor Road where she challenged them.

At that point they ran off towards the junction with Fencepiece Road where they were challenged by another witness who one of them threatened.

All this was caught on CCTV.

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The man who threatened the witness was identified as 28 year-old James Bourke. He was arrested at an address in Ilford on April 3.

Bourke, from Ongar, was later charged with burglary and handling stolen goods and although he denied the charge he was found guilty on October 3 following a trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court.

Another man, 29-year-old Thomas Large, of no fixed address, had already pleaded guilty to two counts of burglary.

On November 5 at Snaresbrook Crown Court, Bourke was jailed for three years and two months while Large was sentenced to two years and three months.

Investigating officer Det Sgt Ben Elliott, from Harlow CID, said: "When someone is burgled they can feel like their personal space has been invaded and they're unsafe in their own home.

"No-one should ever be made to feel like that and I'm glad we've been able to bring James Bourke and Thomas Large to justice.

"They have shown little regard for their victim's property or personal space.

"Bourke in particular showed little remorse for his actions, denying his involvement despite witness testimony and CCTV evidence to the contrary.

"It is satisfying to know that both men will now be behind bars for some time so they cannot do something similar to someone else."

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