Rugby couple’s home burgled while they were watching TV

The case was heard at Warwick Crown Court, which sits at the Justice Centre in Leamington
The case was heard at Warwick Crown Court, which sits at the Justice Centre in Leamington
  • Couple ignored knock on bedroom window - but then heard a noise from the bedroom
  • Intruder claimed she was inspecting a vacant flat in the building
  • She has been making progress tackling her drug habit
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A woman climbed into the bedroom of a couple’s Rugby home - while they were watching television in the living room.

Sandra Cardoso dos Santos pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to burgling the couple’s flat in King Edward Road, Rugby, in September last year.

Miss dos Santos has little or no recollection of the events of that night

Nick Devine, defending

Cardoso dos Santos, 38, of Bond Street, Rugby, was sentenced to eight months in prison suspended for 12 months, with supervision for 12 months and a condition of taking part in drug rehabilitation and women’s programmes.

Prosecutor Andrew Tucker said the bedroom window at the front of the couple’s ground-floor flat was open for ventilation while they were watching TV in the living room at the rear.

At around 7pm they heard a knock at the bedroom window, which they ignored.

But when they then heard a noise from inside the bedroom, they went to investigate and found Cardoso dos Santos in the room.

When they challenged her she claimed she had been there to inspect a vacant flat in the building and was looking around while waiting for the letting agent to arrive.

After escorting her out of their front door, the couple then discovered a mobile phone and £6 in cash had been taken from a bedside table.

The police were contacted, and officers found Cardoso dos Santos’s fingerprint on the underside of the transom bar which she had touched as she climbed in.

When she was arrested two weeks later Cardoso dos Santos denied the offence, putting forward the explanation she had given to the couple.

Mr Tucker added that Cardoso dos Santos was a Portuguese national who had previous convictions for dishonesty in this country and in Portugal.

Nick Devine, defending, said: “Miss dos Santos has little or no recollection of the events of that night, but she accepts the evidence points to the offence having been committed by her.”

He pointed out there was a pre-sentence report on Cardoso dos Santos and a letter from the Recovery Partnership showing the progress she had been making in tackling her drug habit.

And Judge Peter Carr asked: “Bearing in mind the content of the pre-sentence report, can you argue against a suspended sentence?”

After Mr Devine replied that he could not, the judge told Cardoso dos Santos: “You committed a burglary of a flat whilst the people living there were at home.

“But I have read the very full and well-argued pre-sentence report. ou are the carer for your daughter; and you are a drug addict and even before this offence you were doing something about it.

“So I am not going to send you to prison today, and will give you the opportunity to continue with the good work.”