THE sentence of a serial burglar who ransacked a woman’s home and stole a cigarette box emblazoned with her family crest has been cut by leading judges.
Nicholas John Wilcock, 37, was jailed for five years at Mold Crown Court in February after admitting two counts of house burglary.
In the first raid Wilcock smashed his way in through a patio window, snatching cameras and computer gear worth about £7,000.
His second burglary occurred two weeks later, Mr Justice Nicol told London’s Appeal Court yesterday, with the traumatised householder returning in the late afternoon “to find a kitchen window smashed and her house ransacked”.
Items pilfered by drug addict Wilcock included an antique snuff box, a gold cigarette box with her family crest, and a christening bowl.
A subsequent police search of Wilcock’s home uncovered a stash of silverware in his cupboard, said the judge, although most of the £9,000 stolen hoard was never recovered.
Wilcock, of Queensway, Shotton, said he disposed of some of his loot at a fish and chip shop. But his lawyers challenged his sentence on the grounds it was far too harsh.
Mr Justice Nicol, sitting with Lord Justice McCombe and Judge Clement Goldstone QC, noted Wilcock’s victims had been left haunted by their ordeals.
“They have lost confidence in the security of their own homes,” he said. “That loss of confidence will remain with them for the rest of their lives, it has destroyed their enjoyment of their homes.”
But despite Wilcock’s “invasion” of his victims’ homes, and his “bad record” as a professional burglar, the judge went on to reduce his sentence by four months – from five years to four years and eight months.
Mr Justice Nicol said the crown court judge had given Wilcock insufficient credit for his guilty plea.