Burglar smashed his way into four homes during ‘horror’ spree

Leon Punchard. PIC: Norfolk Police.

Leon Punchard. PIC: Norfolk Police. - Credit: Archant

A man used rocks to smash windows and break into houses during a city burglary spree that left householders feeling unsafe and violated.

Leon Punchard, 29, broke into four homes in the Norwich and Drayton areas in four days earlier this year.

Norwich Crown Court heard that during the daylight raids Punchard stole iPads, laptops, jewellery, watches, designer sunglasses, cash and a 100-year-old engagement ring which had belonged to the great-grandmother of one of the victims.

Moving statements from two of the victims described the devastation the raids had caused them.

One of the victims, from a property at Century Way, Drayton, described her family’s “horror” at being burgled and how it left the family dog subdued.

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She described how they felt unsafe in their own home and “violated”.

Another victim, from a home targeted on Plumstead Road East, said his sons were left “shocked” and were forced to stay off school afterwards while his wife suffered “nightmares for weeks afterwards”.

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Martin Ivory, prosecuting, said Punchard was caught after his DNA was found on a stone that had been used to break into one of the homes.

Punchard, of no fixed address, appeared for sentencing after having admitted burglary at a property at Plumstead Road East on January 21 this year and another at Hall Lane, Drayton on January 24 this year.

Hé asked for burglaries at Century Way, Drayton, on January 23 and another at Longdale, Drayton, on January 22, to be taken into consideration.

It meant Punchard, who has 40 convictions for 82 offences, was a three-strike burglar subject to a mandatory minimum term.

Jailing him for 876 days, Judge Anthony Bate said the devastation and the violation that any burglary caused was well known.

John Morgans, mitigating, said Punchard’s last burglary offence before these had been 11 years ago.

Mr Morgans said he had matured and had a girlfriend who was pregnant with their child but that he had taken solace in drugs after he lost his job, which led to these offences.

He said he was ashamed and genuinely remorseful.

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