Dagenham burglar spared jail after saying he ‘just wanted to earn keep’

Snaresbrook Crown Court Pic: John Stillwell/PA

Snaresbrook Crown Court Pic: John Stillwell/PA - Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Ima

A teenager who helped burglars steal almost £10,000 worth of goods has been spared jail – after claiming he was only trying to earn his keep.

Alfie Butcher said he was just trying to help his mum out after failing to find a building job following an apprenticeship.

The 19-year-old helped thieves break into three Dagenham properties in February and March, but was caught after leaving his fingerprints on a window frame at a house in Heathway on February 26.

Butcher knocked on the front door to check that it was empty before crawling through a gap in the fence to check the back of the property and try the doors.

The home was then raided of £9,454 worth of goods including an iPad, two credit cards and jewellery, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard earlier today.

Butcher, who has a previous conviction for theft, was tracked down by police three weeks later.

He later admitted helping two men who had approached him and asked him if he wanted to make some money.

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He also confessed to helping raid two other homes in Reede Road and Fanshawe Crescent.

Nasreen Tincey, for Butcher, said the teenager was “struggling for money” and “wanted to provide his keep to his mother” but had shown “extreme remorse” since.

Sentencing Butcher to eight months suspended for two years, the judge, Mr Recorder Judge Brendan Finucane, gave the teenager credit for pleading guilty but added: “Lots of people lose their jobs, lots of people want to help their mums, but they don’t commit burglary to do it”.

Butcher, of Acre Road, Dagenham was also ordered to complete 150 hours unpaid work.