Serial burglar caught by South Yorkshire widower wins jail appeal

Crime:Latest news.
Crime:Latest news.

A SERIAL burglar caught by a widower who found him going through his dead wife’s jewellery has had his jail term cut by more than two years.

Stephen Ferries, aged 39, was locked up for seven years at Sheffield Crown Court after he admitted burglary.

But judges at London’s Appeal Court cut his prison stretch to four years and nine months – of which he will serve just half behind bars.

The court heard Ferries smashed his way into the man’s home on Beever Street, Rotherham, during the afternoon of December 13.

But the homeowner came back halfway through the raid and found Ferries looking for valuables in his bedroom.

The pair struggled and the brave older man managed to detain him until police arrived.

In a statement read to the court, the victim said he was ‘scared out of his wits’.

Allowing the appeal, Judge Mr Justice Irwin said: “The items he would have taken were not of any real financial value, but were dear to the victim as mementos of his late wife.”

Ferries, who had more than 60 previous convictions, was on licence at the time, having been released from prison just one week earlier.

Lawyers for Ferries claimed the sentencing judge overestimated this aggravating factor and imposed too long a sentence.

Mr Justice Irwin agreed to cut the jail term, and said: “It seems to us that the appropriate starting point for this sentence, before credit for his plea of guilty, was six years.

“The result of a 20 per cent reduction for his plea would be a sentence of four years and nine months.”