Fenland home burgled by teenagers who claimed to be looking for a football

TEENAGE burglars caused �4,000 worth of damage to doors when they attempted to break into a Benwick home in the early hours, a court heard.

A vigilant neighbour called police after seeing flashing lights in the garden -- and officers found a crow bar and a length of tarpaulin hidden behind a wheelie bin when the area was searched.

The youngsters had claimed to be searching for a football - but said they had left the ball behind because it was flat.

Appearing before Fenland magistrates today (Tuesday), 18-year-old Joshua Bentham-Adaway of White Hart Drive, Benwick; and 17-year-old Tomasz Leviscki of River Close, Benwick, admitted burglary with intent to steal. The court made the unusual decision not to impose an anonymity order on Leviscki, who is a youth and will be sentenced by Fenland Youth Court.

Prosecuting, Emma Duckett told how a neighbour spotted flashing lights in the garden of a home in Benwick High Street around 3.30am on October 7.

“The female occupant had left her home around 4.30pm on October 6, making sure it was secure,” she said.

“About 3.30am the next morning, a neighbour was disturbed by flashing lights. Police officers attended, the teenagers claimed to have gone into the garden to retrieve a football, but said it was flat so they left it behind.

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“The next morning a crow bar and length of tarpaulin was found hidden behind a wheelie bin, taken there to effect entry,” added Miss Duckett

She said damage to a patio door, back door and conservatory door totalled �4,000. Mitigating for Bentham-Adway, solicitor Michael Hinchliffe said: “Yes, it was forced entry. But there was no occupant present, nothing was stolen, and there was no ransacking. It was very much an unprofessional burglary.”

He said the 18-year-old had suffered a significant problem with depression, and suggested that a doctor should be consulted before he is sentenced.

The court adjourned his case for three weeks, for the probation service to prepare a report, and gave the teenager conditional bail.

*A third defendant, 17-year-old Liam Keppel Garner, of Lilyholt Road, Benwick, denied a charge of burglary with intent to steal. The court made no order restricting his identification in the press. He will face trial before Fenland Youth Court.

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