Bungling burglars ‘thought victim’s flat was a toilet’


Burglars who claimed they broke into a man’s flat believing it was a toilet were chased off by the occupant as he brandished a walking stick.

David Davies, 45, and 50-year-old Michael Ley have both now been sentenced to 45 months in prison.

Swansea Crown Court heard the burglary happened in the early hours of September 19 this year.

Sian Cutter, prosecuting, said the occupant of a flat in Bryn Road in Swansea was asleep in the property when he received an alert on his mobile phone, which was connected to a CCTV camera, that somebody was at his front door. The front door then opened and Ley walked into his flat followed by Davies.

The court heard the occupier picked up a walking stick and brandished it at the intruders who then fled. Miss Cutter said police were called and on viewing the CCTV footage one of the officers recognised the men. The burglars were arrested later that night in the Sandfields area of Swansea.

In his subsequent interview Ley said he had opened the door of the flat after mistaking it for a toilet.

The court heard details of a statement from the victim in which he said he no longer felt safe in his own home.

Davies, of The Strand in Swansea city centre, and Ley, of Griffith John Street, Brynmelyn, Swansea, both admitted burglary. The court heard Davies has 95 previous convictions for 221 offences, including six burglaries, while Ley has 50 previous convictions for 171 offences including 12 house burglaries and 109 theft matters.

Andrew Evans, for Davies, said both defendants had been in the block of flats legitimately visiting a friend and were leaving when they saw the keys had been left in the door of the victim’s flat. The advocate added that his client had only “partially” entered the flat as he followed his co-defendant through the door.

Stuart John, for Ley, said his client’s life had been stuck in a “vicious circle” of offending for many years. He said now aged 50 Ley felt that “with a degree of maturity” he had begun to address his mental health problems and unresolved issues from his past.

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Recorder Nicholas Gareth Jones told the defendants they both had “appalling records”.

He said he could see no reason to distinguish between them and they were “persons of joint enterprise” who had entered the victim’s flat looking for items to steal and sell.

He sentenced them each to 45 months in prison. They will serve half that period in custody before being released on licence.

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