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Man smashed up cottage while owner was on holiday

PUBLISHED: 16:00 22 January 2020

Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk

A man scrawled an obscenity on the wall of a cottage at the end of a wrecking spree carried out while the owner was in Australia.

Christopher Lamsley caused £25,000-worth of damage when he broke into the home in Swaffham, Norwich Crown Court heard.

Duncan O'Donnell, prosecuting, said Lamsley, 33, broke into the cottage and "smashed it up". A neighbour was woken by "dull thuds" coming from the cottage and called police.

Police found Lamsley sitting on the road with bleach on his trousers.

Mr O'Donnell said he was drunk, gave officers his name and address but was allowed to go on his way.

But police were called again later by the neighbour as lights were on in the house despite the owner being away on holiday.

When officers arrived they found the patio doors had been smashed along with other windows.

Mr O'Donnell said items had been thrown around inside the cottage and there was property all over the floor which had just been "thrown around".

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A swear word had been scrawled on a wall with a pencil, which was later found in the property by scenes of crime officers.

The pencil was later examined and found to contain Lamsley's DNA which led police to the same man who had previously been spoken to at the scene.

Mr O'Donnell said Lamsley later sent his brother a message saying he had "smashed a house up last night" somewhere in Swaffham.

When he was asked why he had done it, Lamsley replied "dunno mate, no idea".

Lamsley, of Swaffham Road, Cockley Cley, admitted burglary and criminal damage on March 16 last year at a previous hearing ahead of sentencing on Wednesday (January 22).

Jailing him for 12 months, Judge Stephen Holt said it must have been "absolutely shocking" for the homeowner.

He said: "You smashed the house up causing just short of £25,000 worth of damage."

David Stewart, mitigating, said his client accepted he caused "a substantial about of damage" and had pleaded guilty.

Mr Stewart also said his client had an alcohol dependency.

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