Gainsborough: ‘Wicked’ burglar is jailed for three years by judge

Stephen Buckley
Stephen Buckley

A burglar who fled from the home of a pensioner after the 70 year old confronted him inside her house has been branded ‘wicked’ by a judge.

Stephen Buckley entered the woman’s home in Prospect Terrace, Gainsborough, on 31st July while she was asleep in a lounge armchair, Lincoln Crown Court heard.

Andrew Scott, prosecuting, said: “All of a sudden she woke to see a man standing in front of her. It was the defendant.”

“She asked the defendant what he wanted and he said sorry.”

The court heard Buckley then left the house and the victim locked her door and contacted police.

Mr Scott continued: “Police found the defendant 20 metres from the property. It was quite apparent he was the worse for drink.”

The court was told that the pensioner had been left traumatised by the incident.

Buckley was bailed following his arrest for that offence, but just one month later he was detained again after a further burglary at Lords pub in Gainsborough.

“He was caught on the town centre CCTV system acting suspiciously at the rear of the premises,” said Mr Scott.

“He was observed reaching in with his arm into the building and pulling out a television monitor and control.”

“Two officers were deployed to the scene and he was arrested.”

Joanna Staples, defending, Buckley, told the court he was battling an addiction to drink and drugs.

“He has issues quite clearly with entrenched alcohol and drug problems,” she said.

It has been like that for decades now.”

She said Buckley was heavily intoxicated when he entered the Prospect Terrace property and his first reaction when confronted was to say over and over again that he was sorry to his victim.

Buckley, 42, of Waterworks Street, Gainsborough, admitted the burglary at Prospect Terrace on 31st July and burglary at Lords on 28th August.

The court heard that he had a considerable criminal record, and had convictions for 115 previous offences.

Sentencing him to spend three years in prison, Judge Sean Morris told Buckley that his 70-year-old victim had been left severely affected by the burglary.

“It was a wicked offence,” he told him.

“Had you given that woman a heart attack you would have been here for manslaughter,” he said.

“You have spent a life committing crime. You have been given chances time and time again.”