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Burglar caught opening family's Christmas presents at a Norwich home

PUBLISHED: 12:05 28 January 2019

Norwich Crown Court. Photo: Adrian Judd

Norwich Crown Court. Photo: Adrian Judd

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A burglar was caught red-handed opening a family's Christmas gifts, a court has heard.

Wayne Thompson, 38, was disturbed whilst unwrapping presents at a house in Nelson Street, Norwich, on December 22, last year, and was arrested by Norwich police, who tweeted about offence: “Hopefully the occupier’s Christmas has been saved!”

A silver Apple iPhone was stolen in the break-in and he was arrested at the scene following a struggle with the occupants.

Thompson, formerly of Old Palace Road, Norwich, admitted the burglary and stealing an iPhone when he appeared at Norwich Crown Court via a video link from Norwich Prison.

The court heard Thompson is a “three strikes burglar”, which normally carries a minimum prison sentence of three years.

His barrister, Isobel Ascherson, said she was asking for reports despite a prison sentence being on the cards as he was a three strike burglar.

She said he had been making efforts to reform and attended probation meetings voluntarily. She said he also cured himself of a drug problem:

Ms Ascherson said Thompson had been living in a bail hostel but left after he was stabbed.

She said Thompson also thought he might have some mental health issues which needed to be addressed.

“He believes he should have a mental health assessment.”

Judge Stephen Holt told Thompson that he would get credit for his early guilty plea.

Judge Holt adjourned the case until Friday, March 13, and told Thompson: “Custody is inevitable. It is simply a question of how long.”

He remanded Thompson in custody.

After the burglary, police took to social media to reveal details of the break-in.

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 Nelson Street resident commented at the time: “It’s an awful thing to happen especially so close to Christmas!”

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