A bungling career criminal who stole £13,500 of jewellery from a Peterborough home, including a First World War memento, has been jailed for seven years.
Nathan Fountain (37) of no fixed abode was described as having “cut a swathe through the lives of people in this city” after admitting to two burglaries and 21 further offences.
Fountain, who has 15 previous convictions for 29 offences, was caught after leaving blood behind in one of the properties he burgled, but according to prosecutor Michael Procter “decided to carry on as he knew he would be caught.”
Mr Procter added: “He stole the items to fund a drugs habit.”
Fountain was sentenced at Peterborough Crown Court today (Friday, November 4) after burgling properties in Eastfield Road and Livermore Green in Werrington in September.
At the first home, he took two mobile phones, a tablet, a purse and a bicycle which all totalled £360.
At the second, he stole an iMac computer, digital camera, £13,500 of jewellery and additional items worth more than £2,000.
According to a victim statement read out in court, the jewellery was sentimental having been passed down from parents and grandparents. One item was also said to be a “war memento” from a victim’s grandfather who fought in the trenches during the First World War.
Both victims said they no longer felt safe in their homes any more.
Speaking about one of the victims, Mr Procter said: “His family feel really vulnerable and he describes himself as being traumatised, vulnerable and physically sick.”
Another, he said, “describes himself as feeling violated knowing someone has been in his house without permission.
“He said ‘it will take us a lot of time get over it’ and expresses the wish that the person responsible be punished. That will bring an end to the nightmare.”
Diane Mundill, defending, said: “Mr Fountain is deeply regretful for what he has done. He has shown remorse with the guilty plea and, back on the 3rd of October when he was originally arrested and interviewed, he admitted candidly to what he had been doing.”
His drug use, she said, “spiralled out of control,” adding: “He was stuck in his addiction. He was unable to get himself out of it and he resorted to doing these offences.”
Judge Sean Enright, sentencing, said: “Those statements of financial loss do not do justice to the distress you have caused.
“You have cut a swathe through the lives of people in this city, causing a great deal of distress and pain.”
Fountain was jailed for four years for one burglary and three years for the other, with 21 other offences taken into consideration. These included thefts and burglaries.
Detective Constable Lee Lombardo said: “Fountain was a prolific offender and homes across Peterborough will now be safer with him behind bars.
“The Constabulary continues to prioritise burglary as part of Operation Hunter, which aims to put offenders before the courts while urging residents to take home security seriously.”
Fountain has a history of burglaries, and in March 2010 he was sentenced to three years in jail.
One of his burglaries was a raid on his ill next door neighbour’s home on Christmas Day to feed his heroin habit.