Prolific Lowestoft criminal jailed for 40 months after latest burglary

Tony Kirk has been jailed for 40 months.

Tony Kirk has been jailed for 40 months. - Credit: Contributed

A prolific Lowestoft burglar has been jailed for 40 months after admitting the latest in a long line of burglaries.

Tony Kirk, who has 139 previous convictions, including more than 50 for burglary, was on licence after being released from a three-year jail sentence for burglary when he broke into a terraced house in Kent Road, Lowestoft, on November 30 last year, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Kirk had forced entry by breaking glass in a door while the owners were out and stole three money boxes containing £100 and jewellery including two gold necklaces, a gold bracelet, a watch and three rings.

The owner of the house returned home from a shopping trip to find items had been moved around in her kitchen and a cupboard door was open. She then noticed a ground-floor window was open and realised she had been burgled.

Kirk was arrested within a short time of the burglary in the Kent Road area for an unrelated matter and initially denied carrying out the burglary.

When CCTV from two local stores was viewed it was discovered that Kirk had taken quantities of 20p pieces into the shops and asked to exchange them for notes.

Kirk, 36, of High Street, Lowestoft, admitted burglary. Jailing him for 40 months Judge Rupert Overbury described Kirk as a 'prolific' burglar.

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He said the jewellery stolen during the burglary was of 'great sentimental value' and the break-in had left the victims unable to sleep at night and had resulted in them having an alarm fitted.

Kirk was jailed for three years in June 2011 after admitting three house burglaries and asking for 63 offences, including 49 for house burglary, to be taken into consideration. He was jailed for a further three years in 2013 after admitting a further offence of burglary.

Andrew Thompson, for Kirk, said his client had spent half his adult life in prison. He said Kirk had no memory of the burglary in Kent Road and was unable to help with the recovery of the stolen jewellery. He said his client had taken the opportunity to burgle the house when the occupants were out and had not caused any gratuitous damage.

He said Kirk's partner was expecting their first child and he would miss the birth.

Kirk, who was sentenced via a video link from prison, read out a letter in which he apologised for the burglary and the affect it had on the victims.

He said he was keen to change his ways and had stopped taking drugs. Kirk told the court he had enquired about taking part in a victim awareness course and the restorative justice programme.

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