Burglar sent note of apology after breaking into ex-partner's home (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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Burglar sent note of apology after breaking into ex-partner's home
A BURGLAR who took revenge on his ex-partner by breaking into her home when he could not see their daughter is behind bars.
Homeless Harry French was jailed for 18 months for stealing £1,000 worth of jewellery from the house in Darlington and pawning it for £700.
A Teesside Crown Court judge described the crime as "mean and motivated by malice" and told French: "You just wanted to get your own back."
The court heard how the 28-year-old was allowed to stay at the house from time to time during the couple's "problematic" five-year relationship.
On June 22, his former partner was getting their three-year-old ready for a trip to the zoo when French banged on the door demanding to see her.
Prosecutor Sue Jacobs said he became abusive when he was told they were going out, and later returned when they were not there to break in.
French was alleged to have taken gift vouchers belonging to the girl as well as the jewellery, but had always denied stealing them, the court heard.
His barrister, Rod Hunt, told Recorder Tim Gittins that French had been excluded from the property in Burnside Road just days earlier.
He said he had been allowed to stay there despite the split, and told the judge: "In any event, he has burgled, in part, his own premises."
The court heard that French later delivered a hand-written letter of apology to his form partner, and then handed himself in to the police.
He pleaded guilty to a charge of burglary - his third house break-in - and faced a minimum sentence of three years as a "third-strike" burglar.
But Mr Hunt successfully claimed the Government guidance was meant for professional house-breakers and not people in French's position.
"It is a curious burglary where the burglar leaves a note apologising to his partner, and hands himself into the police," Mr Hunt said.