Schoolboy locked himself in bathroom as burglars ransacked country home

20/01 Updated: 31/01 12:09

A PETRIFIED schoolboy locked himself in a bathroom to make a whispered call to the police as burglars ransacked his parents’ isolated luxury home.

Terrified that they would find him, the 16-year-old even contemplated jumping from the first-floor window as the raiders made their way upstairs.

But the police arrived and it was the three burglars who ended up escaping through an upstairs window of the house in the village of Lowsonford and making off.

And at Warwick Crown Court one of the gang, ‘not very good’ criminal Peter Windle (22) of James Galloway Close, Coventry, was jailed for five years.

He had denied burgling the house in Lapworth Street, Lowsonford, and burgling another house on the same day, but the jury found him guilty by unanimous verdicts.

Prosecutor Andrew Wallace said that in May last year Windle broke into a house in Windmill Lane, Balsall Common, and stole handbags, a games console, a camera and other property.

The same day a 16-year-old boy was at home alone at his parents’ large detached house which stood in its own grounds in Lapworth Street, Lowsonford, studying for his GCSEs.

Although there were electronic gates at the entrance to the property, they had been left open for a cleaner who was going in that day.

The boy was in his bedroom when he heard a car pull up outside the house, and when he looked out of his window he saw three men looking around.

He was frightened and locked himself in a bathroom and began to call the police as he heard breaking glass and more than one person moving around and coming up the stairs.

Officers were on the scene while the burglars were still in the house, and the three of them climbed out of an upstairs window, jumped to the ground and ran off.

One of them, Aiden Judge (21) of Minton Road, Coventry, was tracked down by a police dog and was jailed for two years in July last year after pleading guilty.

Windle was arrested later in the year after his fingerprints were found in the get-away car and on a games console which had been taken in the burglary.

But he denied being involved, and in court claimed he had been a passenger in the car on previous occasions and that some friends had turned up at his home and offered him the games console, which he thought of buying for his daughter because it was pink, but then handed back.

Jailing Windle, Recorder John Aucott told him: “You embarked at the age of 14 on a criminal lifestyle which you still aspire to. Fortunately you are not very good at it, which enables the courts to lock you up from time to time to prevent you offending.”

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