A burglar was followed home and beaten up by an angry group of vigilantes in revenge for stealing more than £4,000 from a shop owner’s home.
The victim had taken her business takings home overnight for safekeeping and put the cash in her handbag.
Leon Raynor, formerly of Leicester, broke in to the woman’s Skegness address as she and her husband slept upstairs, on Wednesday April 21 – taking a handbag containing £4,400 and car keys.
The distraught victim made inquiries at a the seaside resort’s JD Sports store in Hildred’s Shopping Centre asking to be notified if anyone appeared to be spending lots of cash.
Leicester Crown Court was told that is exactly what 43-year-old Raynor, a drug addict and prolific burglar, did the next day – resulting in him being followed from the shop to his mother’s home in the town.
James Bide-Thomas, prosecuting, said: “People attended outside to vent their dissatisfaction about what he’d done.
“The police received a call from the defendant reporting he had been assaulted.
“He received some injuries – multiple bruises and abrasions.”
(Image: Lincolnshire Live)
Raynor was arrested for the burglary, but released on bail.
Within 24 hours was back in Leicestershire breaking into a house in Ilmington Close, Glenfield, when £4,000 worth of jewellery was stolen. The homeowner was away at the time.
The prosecutor said Raynor left blood at the scenes of both break-ins which matched his DNA.
On Sunday May 9, Raynor was seen in Birmingham, at the wheel of a VW Passat that had been reported stolen a few days earlier.
A police officer spotted the vehicle outside a Tesco store and blocked the car’s exit.
Mr Bide-Thomas said: “The defendant rammed the police car, causing £2,000 worth of damage to it, before reversing and colliding with another vehicle, causing further damage.”
Raynor, who appeared in court via a live video link from prison, admitted both burglaries and aggravated vehicle taking of the VW Passat, which was driven dangerously.
The court heard that Raynor’s criminal record included 20 house burglaries.
He was on early release licence from jail at the time of his latest offences, but swiftly recalled to prison.
Recorder Patrick Upward QC said the burglaries caused “serous loss” to the home owners.
Gareth James, mitigating for Raynor, said the handbag and set of car keys taken during the Skegness house burglary were recovered, although the money was never recovered, nor was the jewellery from the Glenfield break-in.
He said: “The defendant has a long-term addiction to crack-cocaine and struggled to cope with that.
“He has an unfortunate record of acquisitive crime to fund it.
“He very much regrets becoming involved in crime again.
“He’d travelled to Skegness to visit his mother who lived there, following the difficulties of lockdown, and it was the first time he’d seen his mother since it began.
“Sadly in the intervening period his mother has sadly died, which causes him deep regret.
“He realises he will be sentenced harshly.”
Raynor was jailed for seven years.
He was banned from driving for four-and-a-half years.