A prolific burglar who plagued the lives of Cambridgeshire residents for nearly a decade has been jailed for three years after he dramatically confessed to a £100,000 haul from 48 burglaries.
Andrew Dunkley asked for the crimes – 47 of which were at residential properties – to be taken into account while being sentenced at Cambridge Crown Court for another break-in earlier in the year.
Deciding to “wipe the slate clean”, the 25-year-old admitted stealing jewellery worth £18,000 in one burglary during a series of offences dating back to 2004.
In another break-in the gambling addict stole goods worth £15,000 and in others across Cambridge, east Cambridgeshire and south Cambridgeshire, his haul was up to £10,000.
Sentencing Dunkley to three years in prison, Judge Jonathan Haworth said: “Heaven knows how much upset you’ve caused to people in this area.”
When he is eventually released, Dunkley will be subject to an Anti-Social Behaviour Order which bans him from knocking on doors or ringing any doorbell in Cambridge, east Cambridgeshire and south Cambridgeshire.
He is also banned from selling any precious metal or exchanging currency and travellers’ cheques, as well as being in anyone’s garden without permission
Dunkley, of Ellison Close, Cambridge, was also handed a further 12-month prison term, to run concurrently, for breaking into the home of an elderly couple in Ash Vale, Cambridge, while they were on holiday in India on March 15.
On that occasion he and co-defendant Gareth Farrington ransacked the property, escaping from an upstairs window after neighbours thwarted their efforts by banging on the front door.
Judge Haworth said Dunkley’s confession was a “brave thing to do” given that his sentence would have to be “significant to match your behaviour”.
However, he admitted: “Without you doing it, the police wouldn’t have solved these crimes. Clearly, you’ve taken the decision to wipe the slate clean.”
Farrington, who also pleaded guilty to the burglary on March 15, is subject to the same order and must spend 876 days in prison.
In addition Dunkley is prohibited from entering betting shops after the court heard of his extensive gambling addiction.