Bromley couple who used 13-year-old boy to burgle houses across London and Kent sentenced

Michael Doran was sentenced to nine years and six months in prison

Geraldine Ward was sentenced to three years in prison

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A Bromley couple who used a 13-year-old boy to burgle dozens of houses across London, Kent and Surrey have been sentenced.

Michael Doran, 39, of no fixed address, was sentenced at Woolwich Crown Court today (April 29) to nine years and six months in prison.

Geraldine Ward, 36, of Burnt Ash Lane, Bromley, was sentenced at the court on April 15 to three years in jail.

Doran and Ward had both pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary at earlier hearings.

The 13-year-old boy, from Croydon, who was 12-years-old at the time of the offences, was given a 12-month rehabilitation and supervision order.

He had also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary.

The trio was linked to 48 offences between June 1 and September 3 last year.

Ward provided the transport in order for burglaries to be carried out, driving to various locations across London, Kent and Surrey.

The boy would distract the occupants while Doran would search the address and steal money, jewellery and bank cards from victims.

Ward would then pawn the stolen jewellery and attempt to withdraw cash using the stolen bankcards.

One of the first offences the trio committed was in Wyvern Close, Dartford, on June 7.

The victim - a disabled man in his 60s - received a knock on his door from a young boy who asked if he could access the victim's back garden to retrieve a toy.

After searching the garden with the boy, they then both went into the victim's house.

The victim went upstairs where he discovered a man in his bedroom rifling through his belongings. He shouted at the man and the boy and they both left the property.

Items including a Rotary Monza watch and £400 in cash were stolen.

Doran, Ward and the boy were eventually caught following an operation led by officers from Lewisham police.

During the course of the investigation CCTV was seized showing Doran and the boy in the vicinity of a burglary in Kingston on July 14.

Ward's role in the burglaries became apparent when she was seen driving the boy and Doran to an address in Kensington on August 6 where they attempted to trick the occupier into letting them in by asking for a pen and paper.

Despite covering her face she was also captured on CCTV on August 11 attempting to withdraw cash from an ATM using a bank card stolen from a burglary in Surrey earlier in the day.

Doran, Ward and the boy were arrested on September 3.

Detective Constable Kerry Townley, one of the investigating officers from Lewisham borough, said: "This was a very complex investigation and was very much a team effort with Operation Drummer (our proactive burglary unit) working together to bring about this result.

"The sentence handed down today is a good result and whilst it reflects the seriousness of the offences committed we very much hope that the 13-year-old boy is rehabilitated and does not come to our notice again.

"We hope that he does change his life for the better."

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