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Trowbridge burglar handed two-and-a-half-year jail sentence
9:42am Tuesday 12th March 2013 in News
A three-strike burglar who was caught red-handed has been jailed for two years and five months.
Howard McKenzie was spotted by a neighbour after breaking into the property on Blair Road, Trowbridge, last August.
And after a court heard the 45-year-old had two previous convictions for raiding people's homes he received the jail term.
Because he admitted his guilt at the earliest opportunity a judge at Swindon Crown Court gave him a fifth off the mandatory three-year sentence.
Colin Meeke, prosecuting, told how McKenzie had broken into the unoccupied property on Friday August 31 last year.
Once he was inside a neighbour saw a torch on in the house and called the police, staying on the line to keep them aware of what he could see.
When officers arrived the neighbour directed them to McKenzie after he watched him leave the house.
The defendant was then rugby tackled to the ground but came clean and admitted what he had been doing.
McKenzie, of Sheridan Gardens, Trowbridge, pleaded guilty to a charge of burglary and asked for three other matters to be taken into consideration.
In the past he has been convicted of numerous other break ins dating back to 1984, when he was before the juvenile court.
He was jailed for 18 months in 2010 after he admitted two burglaries when he was on a suspended sentence for similar matters.
McKenzie suffers from schizophrenia and has not always taken his medication, and in the past has also had a gambling problem.
Alex Daymond, defending, said his client had been on a tagged curfew for six months and asked for that time to count against his sentence.
Judge Euan Ambrose jailed him for two years and five months and said three months had already been served by the curfew.