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Teenage girl caught burglar breaking into her home

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: March 01, 2014

A 15-YEAR-OLD St Austell girl who was off sick from school came downstairs to find a man halfway through the broken glass of French doors in the family home.

He was John Bentley, aged 35 and of Truro Road, St Austell, who pleaded guilty to burglary with intent to steal when he appeared in custody before Truro magistrates on Friday.

Alison May, for the prosecution, said that the girl was upstairs at home on the morning of January 24 when she heard a noise at the gate, followed by a loud banging.

Going downstairs, she found the intruder and asked what he was doing, and he backed out of the window.

The girl phoned her parents and police found Bentley a short distance away. He told officers he had been to Boots to collect a heroin substitute, but he matched the description given by the girl and forensic evidence from his clothes linked him to the scene of the crime.

The court was told that Bentley had been jailed for 20 months by Truro Crown Court in June last year for burglary, and that sentence was unexpired. He also had further previous convictions for burglary, drugs offences and going equipped for theft.

Elliot Moore, for the defence, said that Bentley had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity. There was no application for bail.

The magistrates decided that their powers to sentence Bentley were insufficient and he was committed to Truro Crown Court, in custody, to be sentenced on March 20.

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