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  1. Published on: 10/08/2018 05:36 AMReported by: roving-eye

    A burglary victim has opened his heart about the impact of burglary on a Formby family, as two men are sentenced to a total of 10 years and eight months in prison at Liverpool Crown Court today, Thursday 9 August.

    The sentencing comes as part of Operation Castle, the force's ongoing response to burglary offences across Merseyside.

    24-year-old Dale Kelly of no fixed abode was sentenced to six years in prison for two counts of burglary
    21-year-old Lewis Callaghan of no fixed abode was sentenced to four years and eight months in prison for two counts of burglary.

    The sentences are in relation to offences in Formby in June in which various items were stolen, including jewellery, cash and electrical equipment.

    At one offence, on Tuesday 5th June, the victim Ian Parnell and his family arrived home to an address in Freshfield to find that their home had been broken into, and items were stolen including watches a Rolex watch given by Ian's father to his mother on their wedding day.

    They also stole an Xbox for which their 14-year-old son, who suffers from learning difficulties, had saved up.

    Detective Inspector Andy McCourt said: "All burglary offences have an impact but Callaghan and Kelly may not appreciate the devastation that their actions have had and continue to have. We often give crime prevention advice and messages to the public in these cases, but on this occasion the victim's statement speaks for itself, and emphasises our commitment to targeting burglary offenders, wherever they operate."

    Victim Impact Statement from Ian Parnell, victim of a burglary in Formby in June 2018:

    "On behalf of my family and myself, I would like to thank the Judge and the officials in the court today for their hard work and for continuing to ensure a fair judicial system remains at the heart of British society.

    "We would also like to thank the officers of Merseyside Police Service for their selfless dedication and for their continued unrelenting desire to ensure crime does not pay and that criminals and offenders are brought to justice. It takes truly special people to do what you do in often challenging circumstances, thank you for keeping us safe and for helping my family and I with the awful events of the 5th of June.

    "Lewis Callaghan and Dale Kelly, I am here to look you both in the eyes and to tell you that the aftermath of you breaking into our home and steeling our personal and private belongings has gone way beyond the physical damage you caused.

    "On arriving home on the evening of the 5th of June, my family and I had to go through the degrading and demeaning experience of entering a home that had been burgled, ransacked and left in complete disarray, a home that we had left earlier that day, clean, tidy and in order, a home that we had felt at peace in and where we had seen each other off to work and school in a happy, loving and relaxed environment.

    "I am truly in love with my wife and son, they are my world, my inspiration and my reason to be, I have never felt like I wanted to hurt someone, but I do now, I would so like a few minutes alone with you both to administer my own form of justice, but I am an honest law-abiding person and I realise that would make me as bad and as inhumane as you both are.

    "One of the items you stole on the 5th of June was my son's Xbox, together with his controllers and games. My son (my pride and joy) suffers with learning difficulties, and yet he personally made the choice to challenge his difficulties and go out to work and earn the money to pay for every item you stole from him. My wife and I never gave him a single penny towards the Xbox. It’s a memory I will always cherish of him walking into our home one Saturday afternoon last September having walked neighbours' dogs, cleaned cars and worked in a local kitchen for eight months to announce, “I have done it, I can buy it dad”.

    "I had to watch my beautiful son’s face collapse into tears and to hear him say, “I worked really hard for that, why did they take that?”.

    "I hope neither of you will be asking the court to take into account any form of past or current learning issue you may claim to have, I am here to tell you and the court that your actions are a choice, a personal cowardly choice. If my son can go out to work at his age, then there can be no aspect of your lives past, or present, that can in anyway mitigate or justify the choices you both make to steal from people. All too often we hear the sob story trying to justify why poor choices are made, let’s hope the judge can see through you both and make sure the pride my son has in himself for earning his way in life is protected.

    "It shocked me personally that you could make such intelligent choices whilst in our home, I would ask the court to note that neither my Apple Mac laptop or my iPad were taken (even though other items on my desk were) this is because you both know that Apple items can be tracked and that this would expose you to being caught.

    "However, the choices you made to rob our home caused me personally to feel hurt and emotions that I can only compare to the grief I experienced when I lost my parents.

    "One of the items you stole is a 72-year-old Rolex watch, it would mean nothing to anyone unless you know what the watch means in my life. On the back of the watch is engraved the words ‘To Ray from Betty’.

    "Betty was my mum and Ray was my dad, she worked four jobs for four years of her life to pay for the watch which she gave to my dad on their wedding day, as a boy he would playfully put it on my wrist and tell me its mine, indeed three hours before he died he reached out to me unable to talk and put the watch in my hand. It’s the last, and a wonderful memory I have of him.

    "You have no idea how inconsolable I was when I realised you had taken it, it’s the only time in my son’s life that he has seen me cry and for that I can never forgive you. My son suffered two forms of hurt that evening, personal loss and anxiety that his dad was not OK. No 14-year-old child should have to experience that.

    "The fact that you have actually touched the watch has damaged the lovely memory I have of my parents. They were decent, honest, loving people who tried their hardest to be good role models and to set their son on the right path, they would both have wanted me to tell you, you should be ashamed of yourselves. So I will, you both should hang your heads in shame, you have no morals and no regard for anyone or anything.

    "I have imagined you both to be the sort of people that sat in the interview room, knowing you are guilty and standing behind the cowardly words “no comment” to every question asked of you by the fine police officers of Merseyside, to me this is you laughing in the face of the authorities, a way of trying to wriggle out of the guilty plea, I have to say, you are not laughing now are you!!

    "We don’t forgive you, quite simply, you had no right to damage and be in our home; you had no right to touch and steal our belongings; and you had no right to lessen the memories of loving decent honest people; but worse, you had no right to make me, my wife and our son feel unsafe, frightened, insecure and violated.

    "When I leave court today, I have promised my family we will go to our favourite restaurant and we will begin the process of ensuring we don’t think or care about you. We will sit and enjoy each other’s love and company hoping that you will be imagining us laughing at you because we are safe in the knowledge that for tonight and hopefully many more nights to come, you will both live with constant unsettling thoughts that you are not safe in your cold noisy prison cell and that you too will feel unsafe and in harm’s way every second of every day of the sentence passed to you.

    "I am told prison is a really hard tough place, all I can say is, take time to think about what positive choices you can make for yourselves in the future. But for now, we will seek solace in the hope that you will truly enjoy the fruits of the choices you made on the 5th of June.

    "Thank you."

    Anyone with information on burglary is asked to call 999 if a crime is in progress, contact @MerPolCC, or @CrimestoppersUK anonymously on 0800 555 111. #OpCastle #BeattheBurglar

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    Your Comments:

  3. cotton man says:10/08/2018 07:56 AM
    An excellent and well written Victim Impact Statement.

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