'Opportunistic' burglars grabbed laptop through bedroom window.
Byline: LIZ DAY Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
A PAIR of "opportunistic" burglars grabbed a student's laptop from his desk through his bedroom window while he was out one evening visiting his girlfriend.
Matthew Davenport, 48, and David Smith, 37, stole the PS450 computer from the student house in Cardiff while his housemates were at home.
Sentencing the pair at Cardiff Crown Court, Judge Jeremy Jenkins described the burglary as "wholly opportunistic".
The court heard the incident occurred on Bedford Street in Roath, Cardiff, at around 7pm on January 25.
Richard Ace, prosecuting, said the victim left the window of his bedroom, which was on the ground floor, slightly ajar when he went to visit his girlfriend.
The court heard he returned two hours later to find his laptop missing from his desk.
Prosecutors said there was no evidence any other rooms were searched and nothing else was taken.
Police took CCTV from a nearby pub and the YMCA hostel where the defendants were staying.
They were also seen going into a Spar shop with Davenport carrying a rectangular object under a black jacket.
Both were arrested about a month later and denied burglary. Davenport was later caught with a knife at the hostel while on bail.
Davenport and Smith, both from The Walk, Cardiff, admitted burglary. Davenport also admitted possessing a knife.
Kathryn Lane, defending Davenport, stressed her client had not been in trouble for 10 years and had no previous convictions for burglary.
She told the court he was attacked in 2000 and suffered brain damage.
Ms Lane said he found it "particularly difficult" to cope when his mother died three years ago and struggled with drug and alcohol addiction.
The defence barrister pointed out the defendants did not force entry and described the burglary as "opportunistic offending".
Prosecutors said Smith had been before the courts for 94 previous offences, including 23 theft-related.
He had one previous conviction for dwelling and two for non-dwelling burglaries. Harry Baker, defending, argued there was no distinction between the pair and they were jointly responsible.
He also described the burglary as "opportunistic" rather than planned or premeditated.
Davenport was jailed for 13 months and Smith for nine months. Judge Jenkins made an order for the knife to be forfeited and destroyed.
Matthew Davenport and David Smith