A BURGLAR who is behind bars after kicking his way into the rooms of five students while they were away over the Christmas holiday, has been ordered to pay compensation to his victims.
Despite being said to have been homeless at the time because of rent arrears, a judge heard that Paul Dean had assets of more than £5,000 in a bank account.
Dean was jailed for three years and four months earlier this year after pleading guilty at Warwick Crown Court to six charges of burglary.
On that occasions a hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act was adjourned for an investigation to take place into the 49-year-old’s finances.
At the resumed hearing prosecutor Marcus Harry said Dean’s benefit from the break-ins at addresses in Coventry and Leamington was a total of £1,202 – and he had assets of £5,060 in a bank account.
Recorder Kevin Hegarty QC made a confiscation order for £1,202 under the Proceeds of Crime Act and ordered the money should be used to compensate Dean’s victims for the value of what he stole.
Dean was given 28 days to hand over the money or face a further two months in prison.
During the original hearing the court was told that five students who had individual rooms in a house in Earlsdon, Coventry, left for the Christmas break on December 20.
When they returned on January 2 they found the house had been broken into, the doors to their rooms had been kicked in and property stolen.
Meanwhile, a woman had left her home in Shrubland Street, Leamington, to go away for a break over the New Year, and when she got back in on January 7 she heard a noise from the living room.
There was no-one there but the TV was on and it seemed someone had been living there in her absence.
Various items of property were missing, including a coat which Dean, whose blood had been found in the bathroom, was wearing when he was arrested a few days later.
Upon questioning Dean said he had been told the house was vacant and he could live there with others who were already at the address.
Mark Phillips, prosecuting, added Dean had 34 previous convictions for 94 offences, including 17 domestic burglaries, going back to 1981.
Tim Sapwell, defending, said the blight of Dean’s life had been a heroin addiction, and in October last year he had become homeless after falling behind with his rent.
The money confiscated from Dean will be used to pay compensation of £95 to the Leamington householder.