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A prolific burglar who took a bath and cooked food during a break-in at a house in Chatham has been jailed for nearly four years.
Andrew Cushman, 40, of no fixed abode, was sentenced to three years and nine months for two burglaries after being found guilty by a jury at Maidstone Crown Court on Monday 13 May.
The court heard that on 20 October last year, a property owner in Magpie Hall Road noticed his shed had been left open and when he went outside to investigate, he found a needle had been left near the door.
He initially didn’t think anything was missing, but thought the offender may have been near so looked over a fence and noticed some old jumpers that belonged to him that appeared to be covering a carrier bag. In the bag was a black wallet which contained a credit card in the name of Andrew Cushman.
He then phoned police.
A little later on the same day, the occupant of an address, also in Magpie Hall Road, received a call from a relative to say that she had been burgled. When she returned home she found the house had been trashed, food had been eaten, the microwave used and a number of hypodermic needles left around the house, including one in a child’s cot. It was also found the intruder had decided to take a bath.
A neighbour walking past the house at the time stopped after noticing the property had been trashed and confronted Cushman who was seen coming out of the house with some tools.
The man asked him what he was doing and when he tried to look in the property, Cushman punched him in the side of the head. The man hit him back before running into the property to check if the occupant and her children were in and Cushman ran off.
Officers sent the needles off for forensic identification which confirmed they were Cushman’s. He denied he had committed the offences during a trial but was found guilty by a jury and sentenced to three years for burglary dwelling and nine months for the burglary other than dwelling. He was also sentenced to two months for common assault by beating to run concurrently.
Investigating officer, Detective Constable Steve Day of Kent Police, said: ‘Cushman is a prolific career criminal with numerous convictions for burglary dwellings.
‘He has had a significant impact on people’s lives in the past with his criminal offending and in this case, entering a property and leaving needles around the house, including in a child’s bed, is beyond contempt.
‘This sentence should send a clear message out to burglary offenders in Medway that criminals will be dealt with robustly and that Kent Police will do everything in its power to make the public feel safe in their homes.’