A homeless man has been jailed after he burgled a home in Catford, stealing £3,000 of goods from a husband and wife including precious bespoke jewellery. 

Drug addict Lloyd Burke, 49, broke into a home on Castillon Road on May 17, 2021, while the couple who lived there were out. 

CCTV from neighbour’s cameras showed Burke entering through the garden at 2.45pm, followed by the sound of the kitchen window being smashed. 

The back door was also damaged during his break in and several ornaments normally in the garden ended up in the house as he forced entry, a sentencing hearing at the Old Bailey was told. 

Nine minutes after he was seen entering the garden he was seen leaving again carrying several items with him, prosecutor Brent Martin said. 

These included three rings, two pendants, a gold cross, a bracelet and a locket with a photo of the homeowner’s daughter inside. Many of these items were bespoke and were priceless to the victims. 

Burke also stole a small teddy bear in a box, a laptop, two bottles of champagne and a bottle of brandy. 

Mr Martin said the total value of the stolen items was £3,000. 

At around 4pm Burke entered a nearby pawn shop and sold several items for a total of £120 in cash. 

The victims checked local pawn shops and recovered a few of the items but others have remained lost forever, the court heard. 

When Burke was arrested he denied any involvement in the burglary. 

Judge Angela Rafferty KC told him: “You denied it in police interview. You lied and said this property had been given to you and that you had nothing to do with a burglary.” 

Burke continued to plead not guilty to burglary, although he did plead guilty to a lesser offence of theft. He later pleaded guilty to burglary on the second day of a trial. 

He has 23 convictions for 35 offences including five previous domestic burglaries. 

In mitigation, the court heard that Burke was homeless when he committed the offence. 

Barrister George Skinner, representing Burke, said his client was taking drugs to deal with his homelessness and was in fear as he had fallen into debt. 

The court was told that Burke had an abusive childhood and also had PTSD from an incident which took place in prison. 

Judge Rafferty told Burke: “Committing this type of crime is violating and invasive, a difficult childhood or trauma does not excuse this, but it does perhaps explain why you are a drug addict which I accept is why you committed this crime.” 

Burke has been in prison since August 2022 and told his lawyers he is wary about leaving too soon. 

Mr Skinner said: “He's tentative about leaving prison and falling back into homeless and self-medicating.” 

The court heard that Burke is committed to changing and progressing while he is in prison and hopes to come out a better person. 

Mr Skinner added: “He knows what he did was wrong, and he is remorseful.” 

Judge Rafferty KC said: “I’ve heard that you have plans for the future which do not involve burgling people’s homes. Only you know if this is true, or whether you are lying again.” 

Burke was sentenced to three and a half years in prison.