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'I'm just fixing your window, mate': Burglar posed as workman in high-viz when man found him in his home

PUBLISHED: 17:09 04 March 2019

Norwich Crown Court. Photo: Adrian Judd

Norwich Crown Court. Photo: Adrian Judd

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A burglar posed as a workman when he was caught red-handed breaking into a home in South Wootton.

Gary Palmer, 32, was wearing a high-viz jacket and pretended he was there to repair a window when one of the family returned and was surprised to find him at the address. Norwich Crown Court heard.

Richard Paterson, prosecuting, said Palmer was seen at the top of the stairs and had shouted down: “Alright mate.”

Mr Paterson said that Palmer, who was carrying a workbox, then told the victim: “I’m just fixing your window mate.”

However, the victim realised Palmer was in fact a burglar when he noticed a door had been smashed and Palmer then fled the scene taking jewellery, some of which was of sentimental value and iPad.

Mr Paterson said the victim and his girlfriend chased after Palmer and managed to take a photo of him on a phone before he managed to get away.

Mr Paterson said the photo of Palmer was later shown to police, who recognised Palmer and he was arrested.

The family also found a rusty crowbar which had been used in the break-in.

Palmer of Generals Walk, King’s Lynn, admitted the burglary on June 28, last year.

Mr Paterson said the victims of the burglary did not want to make any impact statement or further statements about the break-in.

David Stewart, for Palmer, said that he was a chronic alcoholic, but was now getting help and had been to see his GP.

He said that although he had previous convictions this was his first for a burglary.

He said Palmer was now wanting to address his drinking following the death of a close friend.

Jailing him for 18 months, Judge Katharine Moore told him that he had come face-to-face with a victim during the break-in and said: “You sought to bluff your way out of it and say you were there legitimately to repair a window.”

She added: “This was a serious incident.”

She accepted Palmer was alcoholic and said it was an aggravating feature that he was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the break-in.

Judge Moore told him he should change his ways and said: “Time will tell if you are really at a turning point.”

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