St Leonards burglar given prison sentence

A St Leonards man has been jailed for aggravated burglary following a police investigation.

William Ripley, 42, of London Road, St Leonards, was sentenced at Lewes Crown Court on Thursday, April 4, to 11 years for aggravated burglary at a house in St Leonards and a further burglary at a house in Peasmarsh, both in September last year, according to police.

William Ripley. Picture supplied by Sussex Police SUS-190416-122454001

William Ripley. Picture supplied by Sussex Police SUS-190416-122454001

Police said on the afternoon of September 16 two men forced their way through a locked door into the St Leonards address, one armed with a shotgun.

According to police, they threatened one of the residents and stole about £200 cash before leaving in a car.

During the following day the house in Peasmarsh was broken into and a quantity of jewellery was stolen, together with bank and credit cards, one of which was used at several local shops later the same day, police added.

Police Investigator Bernadette Peters said: “From CCTV at the locations where the card was used we subsequently identified Ripley.

“Meanwhile, in the early hours of September 18 a car stolen in another burglary in St Leonards earlier that month was seen on ANPR being driven near Rye.

“Officer searched the area and found it abandoned near Three Oaks. Jewellery from the Peasmarsh burglary was found in the car, which was also identified as being present at the St Leonards burglary on September 16. Ripley’s DNA linked him to that car.

“Our investigation has resulted in a dangerous burglar being taken off the streets and sentenced to a substantial term of imprisonment.

“Victims from both the addresses were understandably frightened by what happened, and the presence of the firearm at the St Leonards house shows the level of fear Ripley intended to demonstrate.”

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