New mum was getaway driver for partner in string of raids across Lincolnshire
A COUPLE stole presents and jewellery valued at more than £15,000 just weeks after the birth of their son.
James Parker, 24, recruited his girlfriend Charlotte Hall, 21, to act as a getaway driver in a month-long crime spree, targeting dozens of homes across Lincolnshire.
Hall, who had no previous convictions, embarked on their first burglary just a month after giving birth to the couple's first child, and was spared jail after she was described as a "stupid girl" blinded by love.
Lincoln Crown Court heard how the couple, of Market Rasen, were responsible for nearly 30 burglaries and attempted break-ins carried out over the Christmas period in 2012.
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Among the items stolen were a 100-year-old family bracelet, a set of £1,200 pearls bought as a Christmas present, a laptop containing sensitive personal information and a watch given to a victim by his mother.
Their victims included a elderly couple in poor health who were away visiting relatives for Christmas and a woman who now felt unsafe in her home of over four decades.
The court was told many of the burglaries occurred in the Lincoln area after Hall gave Parker a lift in her Fiat Punto, but other break-ins were carried out closer to Market Rasen.
Much of the stolen property was recovered when police raided the couple's home in King Street, two days after Christmas.
The court heard Parker had a string of previous convictions for dishonesty and was jailed for four years in 2009.
Sunil Khanna, mitigating for Hall, said: "She chose to ignore things that were said about him.
"She got pregnant, they got a property together but unfortunately he was made redundant from his job cleaning farm machinery on October 24. Their son was born on October 31.
"In her words, he wore her down and he persuaded her if she remained in the car and did not go in to the property or on to the land then she had done nothing wrong. She accepts she was naive."
Hall admitted five charges of burglary in December last year and asked for 21 other offences to be taken in to consideration. Parker pleaded guilty to the same five break-ins and asked for a further 23 offences to be taken in to consideration.
Sentencing her to 12 months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, Judge Sean Morris said: "It is clear to me you are a stupid girl who fell for a man who got you in to crime. I don't mean to be impolite, love blinds may be a better way of putting it."
She was also made the subject of a six-month nightly curfew and placed under probation supervision for 18 months.
Mark Watson, mitigating for Parker, said he accepted being the "driving force" behind the break-ins.
Jailing him for 28 months, Judge Morris added: "It was the season of goodwill to all – you broke some hearts."