Rugby householder punched burglar in the face

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A burglar who had smashed his way into a Rugby house late at night got no further than the hallway before being confronted by the owner who punched him in the face.

Intruder Shaun Jones and his accomplice John Forrester turned and fled empty-handed – but were arrested shortly afterwards.

Both men pleaded guilty to that and another burglary the previous day – and Forrester also admitted an earlier burglary for which he was on bail at the time.

Jones, 31, of Ashwood Court, Rounds Gardens, Rugby, was jailed for 16 months, and Forrester, 31, of Telfer Road, Coventry, for two-and-a-half years.

Prosecutor Charles Gardner said that Forrester, Jones and a third man broke into a house in Dunchurch Road at 10.40pm on July 6. The occupant was watching television with the lights off in the bedroom when he heard someone knock at the front door.

As he went down to answer it there was a loud smashing sound as someone broke open the door – and he then saw Jones staggering in the hallway.

The man challenged him and punched him – and Jones fled from the house and ran off with Forrester and the third man who had been waiting outside the door, added Mr Gardner.

Gary Cook, for Forrester, said: “I concede this clearly crosses the custody threshold, and that is recognised by the defendant.”

He said Forrester, who had “slipped into a period of drug abuse” after losing his job and a relationship breaking up, seemed to be genuinely remorseful.

Jonathan Veasey-Pugh, for Jones, said he came from a respectable family, but was he was taking heroin and crack cocaine by the age of 25.

Mr Veasey-Pugh said Jones had his own accommodation, and Forrester and a man called Nestor had foisted themselves on him. Jones, who suffers from drug-induced psychosis, said he took part in the burglaries because he was hearing voices which said Nestor would burgle his sister’s home if he did not.

Jailing Jones and Forrester, Judge Richard Griffith-Jones told them: “These offences are so serious that they are ones which only a prison sentence can be justified for.”