Suffolk burglar blamed for heart attack his victim suffered hours after discovering break-in

Burglar Henry Smith
Credit: Norfolk Police
Henry Smith broke into the couple's home in November. Credit: Norfolk Police

A burglar who raided a couple's home has been jailed - and blamed for the heart attack one of his victims suffered just hours later.

Henry Smith, 28, burgled an elderly couple in Roydon in Norfolk who said their lives had been ruined by the crime.

Smith, of Tawneys Ride in Sudbury, was sentenced to a total of 40 months for burglary at Ipswich Crown Court.

The court heard that the female victim in her 80s left her home in Roydon with her husband at around 5pm on 20 November.

When they returned at 8.30pm, they discovered they had been burgled and within hours the man had a heart attack.

A court heard that Smith, who pleaded guilty to the burglary, had broken into the property using a crowbar and rifled through drawers around the house, leaving paperwork thrown across the floor throughout.

The female victim issued a statement through Norfolk Police and said she believes that the burglary had an impact on the couple's health.

"I definitely think that the stress of the burglary put a strain on his heart," she said.

"We both can’t sleep; my husband and I go to bed exhausted and can’t sleep for about two hours a night. This means we are both tired during the day. This has changed how we live our lives."

She added: "the burglary has ruined our relationship with the house, it’s tearing us apart.

"We go to bed every night worried that we might get burgled."

The victim discovered a gold bracelet, a gold watch, an empty blue overnight bag and an unspecified amount of cash had been taken. They have never been recovered.

Police examined DNA evidence and arrested Smith at an address in Sudbury the following month on 20 December.

PC Oliver Addley said: "Smith targeted the home of the couple and caused significant distress.

"We hope that the work to bring him to justice will serve as a warning to others that we will pursue this type of crime as we know the weight of impact it can have on victims.”

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