Labourer is found guilty of being masked burglar

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A MASKED and hooded labourer caught on camera rifling through drawers in a St Brelade home while a teenager slept yards away has been found guilty after a two-day trial in the Royal Court.

After retiring for just over half an hour on Wednesday morning, a jury delivered a unanimous verdict, finding 32-year-old Dean Rawlinson guilty of illegal entry with intent to commit larceny.

During the first day of the trial on Tuesday, the court heard that Rawlinson had entered the property in Les Quennevais shortly after being dismissed from his job at a building site.

The jury was shown footage from the flat’s internal security system, which caught the intruder – wearing dark clothes – in the living room of the property, opening drawers and putting his head round the door of a bedroom in which a 16-year-old boy was asleep.

Speaking to the JEP the day after the incident on 30 March last year, home-owner Nick Venton admitted he had initially thought his 16-year-old son, who he had left sleeping at home after going to work, had been mistaken about the intruder.

The intruder at Nick Venton’s flat in Les Quennevais (35554427)

He said: ‘My son wasn’t sure what had happened as he’d been asleep and I thought he was talking rubbish at first, but then I checked the footage and there was a man in the house.’

After rushing home as soon as he realised what had happened, Mr Venton was relieved to find that his son was unharmed – but shocked – and that nothing appeared to have been taken.

‘I was pretty stressed and angry about it. It’s not nice when you find out a stranger has been into your home, your own private space,’ he added.

Crown Advocate Simon Crowder, prosecuting, said Rawlinson had previous convictions in England for burglary, breaking and entering and illegal entry, telling the jurors: ‘You can be sure the images show the same defendant.’

Having been dismissed from his labouring job, Rawlinson had ‘reverted to type’ in seeking to commit a burglary, Advocate Crowder added.

The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge and denied that he had been present.

A States police officer, who also gave evidence, confirmed that no fingerprints, footprints or other traces linking Rawlinson to the scene had been found.

Advocate Nicholas Mière, defending, said there were no fingerprints, DNA or forensics and no statements from residents.

Rawlinson will return to the Royal Court for sentencing on 26 May. Bailiff Sir Timothy Le Cocq, presiding, thanked members of the jury.

He said: ‘The court is very grateful that you have come along and done your civic duty and given appropriate care and consideration while the evidence was given.’

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