Man caught opening family's Christmas presents at Norwich home appears in court
PUBLISHED: 14:34 24 December 2018 | UPDATED: 10:45 25 December 2018
A man who was 'caught red handed' opening a family's Christmas presents has appeared in court.
Wayne Thompson, 38, was disturbed whilst unwrapping the presents at about 8.15pm on Saturday (December 22) at a house on Nelson Street in Norwich.
An silver Apple iPhone was stolen in the break-in.
He was arrested at the scene following a struggle with the occupants.
He was taken to Wymondham Police Investigation Centre (PIC) and later charged with burglary.
Thompson, formerly of Old Palace Road, but now of no fixed abode entered no plea when he appeared at Norwich Magistrates Court for the short hearing, which lasted less than three minutes.
Dressed in a red jumper, Thompson spoke only to confirm his name during the hearing.
The case could not be heard at the magistrates court as the defendant is a three strikes burglar which carry mandatory minimum prison sentences.
Offenders who are convicted of a third house burglary normally face a minimum prison sentence of three years under the three strikes rule.
No pleas were formally entered and the case was sent to Norwich Crown Court on January 21.
Michael Cole, representing Thompson, said his client would be fully admitting what he had done in due course.
As previously reported, police in Norwich took to social media to reveal details of the burglary over the weekend.
Norwich Police tweeted: “Caught red-handed at the property and arrested at the scene.
“The male was disturbed while unwrapping Christmas presents.
“Hopefully the occupier’s Christmas has been saved!”
A resident on Nelson Street, who did not want to be named said: “It doesn’t surprise me that there was a burglary, Blue flashing lights are a normal thing on our road.
“It’s an awful thing to happen, especially so close to Christmas!
“I think it’s every family’s worst nightmare.”
Norfolk Police are urging people to keep their homes safe this Christmas as part of the force’s 12 days of Christmas campaign.
Advice on home security includes including ensuring you have strong, secure doors and windows, which can be locked; avoid openly displaying Christmas gifts. Gifts should also be property marked.