Horncastle

Burglar who escaped crime scene down pipe jailed

A burglar who was caught in the act after breaking into a property while the occupants were watching television has been jailed for 15 months at Lincoln Crown Court.

Geoffrey Finlow entered the premises above a shop in Bank Street, Horncastle, through an unlocked rear door but the noise he made alerted the family dog.

The victim went to investigate and found himself confronted by Finlow who then fled.

Finlow, 32, of The Crescent, Horncastle, admitted a charge of burglary as a result of the incident on February 21, 2019.

Judge Simon Hirst, passing sentence, said the victim had been significantly affected by what happened.

He told Finlow: “This offence is aggravated by your previous convictions and the fact that it was at night and there was a face to face confrontation.”

Neil Sands, in mitigation, said that Finlow has been trying to turn his life around since being remanded in custody following his arrest.

Mr Sands said: “He offers his apologies to the householders. He knows that may make little difference but hopefully they will understand that the steps he is taking will mean this will not happen in the future.

“He is off illicit drugs and is currently on a reducing methadone prescription. He should be clear of methadone by the time of his release.

“That will be the first time for five years that he has been completely clear of all drugs.”

Phil Howes, prosecuting, told an earlier hearing that the occupiers went to investigate and found tools scattered on the floor of a utility room and drawers open.

Finlow, who had been hiding in a toilet, then emerged and attempted to escape.

He was confronted but claimed “I fell off the roof. I’m trying to get out. Don’t call the police.”

Finlow was briefly held but managed to break free and left.

Mr Howes said’ “He made good his escape and scaled a down-pipe and went over the roof before disappearing into the night.

“Police were called. On a down-pipe 15 feet off the ground was some blood. It was analysed and came back as blood belonging to the defendant. He was arrested and made no comment in interview.”

The court was told that Finlow had 19 previous convictions for a total of 48 offences.