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Friday, 24 October 2014

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Burglar who ransacked luxury Cumbrian home jailed

A man who ransacked a luxury Cumbrian home while a woman was out taking her children to school has been sent to prison for four and a half years.

Paul Michael Millar, 52, broke into the house at Edenhall, near Penrith, on the morning of March 21.

He got away with £1,000 of jewellery – much of which was of great sentimental value because it had belonged to the woman’s mother, who had recently died.

Carlisle Crown Court heard that when the woman got back to the “extremely isolated” house with her three-year-old child she found the place in chaos.

Millar had used a fence post to shatter the kitchen window, and glass was strewn all over the floor.

Millar – who had 122 previous convictions and is wanted in Selkirk, Scotland, on four more charges of housebreaking – pleaded guilty to burglary.

The Hon Recorder of Carlisle, Judge Paul Batty QC, hoped to be able to sentence him for those four charges at the same time, but he discovered the law did not allow him to.

Despite the extra cost to the taxpayer, those alleged offences will have to be dealt with at a Sheriff’s Court in Scotland.

Prosecutor Becky McGregor told the court the woman whose house was burgled feels “violated”.

Despite cleaning the house from top to bottom after the break-in, for weeks afterwards she and her children were finding bits of broken glass everywhere, she said.

Ms McGregor said the woman felt she would never get over losing her late mother’s jewellery.

“She is left with a gut-wrenching feeling,” she said.

In mitigation, defence barrister Elizabeth Muir said Millar, who had no fixed address, realised that at the age of 52 he was getting too old for a life of crime.

Passing sentence, Judge Batty told Millar: “Words cannot describe the depravity of this type of offence and the affect it has had on this young family.”

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