Burglar stole Land Rover after breaking into Cotswold home

A 23-year-old man who committed a burglary in Chedworth, stole the keys of a Land Rover Discovery and drove off in it has received an 18-month suspended prison sentence.

Gloucester Crown Court heard on Friday that a family were sleeping at their home in Middle Chedworth on the night of November 20/21 last year when Riley Reeve of Church Street, Evesham, broke in.

Prosecutor Nicholas Lee said: “The owner got up at 6am and soon discovered he had been burgled and that the keys to his Land Rover Discovery had been stolen – as had the vehicle itself.

“A police investigation revealed that Reeve had gained entry through a living room window at the back of the house and then exited via a kitchen window in the front of the property.

“The kitchen window was swabbed by the police’s forensic team and the results came back with the DNA of Reeve, who was subsequently arrested the following March.”

The court was told that the car was discovered undamaged in a library car park in Winchcombe two days later.

Omar Majid, defending said: “Reeve understands that by his actions he is likely to receive an immediate custodial sentence. However he has a number of issues that need dealing with that would be best met in the community, if the sentence were to be suspended.

“At the time of his offending he was just 21 and his father, who he had a close relationship with, had been remanded into custody. He tried to take some proactive steps to deal with his mental health condition, but this coincided with the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic lockdown.

“Reeve is dealing with severe depression and is in the process of seeking appropriate medication for his condition.

“Reeve has begun to sort his life out, having disassociated himself from the wrong crowd, which has been echoed by the comments by his uncle who states that Reeve will have a job if he retains his liberty in running his landscape business while he undergoes a hospital procedure and the subsequent recovery.

“Reeve has also stopped drinking alcohol and has shown he can stay out of trouble for a long period of time.

“The Land Rover wasn’t new – in fact it was 17-years old when it was stolen, bearing a 2002 number plate, which puts the value of it around £5,000 to £20,000.

“Reeve has apologised for his offending and has shown significant remorse.”

At an earlier hearing Reeve pleaded guilty to the burglary of a dwelling – with intent to steal between November 19 and 22 at Middle Chedworth, Cheltenham and the theft of motor vehicle.

The judge, Recorder Thomas Brown told Reeve: “You broke into the property while the occupants were sleeping. You have a previous conviction for robbery and theft.

“In my view only a custodial sentence can be justified, however there is a realistic prospect of rehabilitation giving me the scope to suspend it.”

The judge sentenced Reeve to an 18 month prison term, suspended for two years and ordered him to attend 30 programme sessions, undergo a six month trail monitoring exercise and a curfew between 7pm and 7am for the same time period and pay a victim surcharge.

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