Serial South Yorkshire burglar ate cupcakes while woman slept

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A BURGLAR who tucked into a woman’s cupcakes while she was asleep in bed has been jailed for four years.

The break-in at Joanne Hall’s home was just one of 18 committed by Daniel Groves in less than six weeks, a court was told.

It is the fourth time the 40-year-old has qualified for a minimum three-year prison term under ‘three-strikes-and-out’ legislation intended to punish serial burglars. Groves, living at the time in a bedsit in Highfield Road, Doncaster, but now of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to the burglary at Mrs Hall’s house - and asked for 17 similar offences to be taken into consideration.

All were committed between April 6 and May 14, said Neil Coxon, prosecuting, and the majority of property stolen was jewellery, computers, games, mobile phones and purses.

Mrs Hall, aged 43, and her son, 15, of Balby, Doncaster, went to bed on May 8. She heard noises in the night but assumed her son was making them. When they got up the next morning they found a kitchen window pane had been completely removed.

As well as having a laptop, mobile phone and Xbox stolen, an intruder had eaten cupcakes and biscuits in the kitchen, said Mr Coxon.

But Groves had left one of his fingerprints on the window pane. When he was arrested he said it had been easy to remove the rotten window frame - and added he had sold the stolen goods for £80.

Mrs Hall said: “I feel sick to my stomach. I can’t believe someone has been in while we were asleep.”

Groves’ record of 28 previous offences included nine house burglaries between 2002 and 09.

Nigel Lumley, defending, said Groves had shown remorse by admitting the other offences which would not otherwise have been detected. “He knows how he would have felt if his relatives’ houses had been violated, he added.