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Burglar caught in the act took "gloss off" marriage proposal

By SWEPRMosalski  |  Posted: March 12, 2014

Joseph Clutton was sentenced at Swansea Crown Court

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A WOMAN who caught a burglar in her home said her home being targeted “took the gloss off” her engagement which followed two days later, a court has heard.

Joseph Clutton, aged 23, of no fixed address, was reported to police by his mother. After his arrest, his victim told police she was grateful to his mother for reporting him.

He had only been released from prison a month before.

He was caught in the 40-year-old woman’s home in Mount Pleasant trying to take her handbag from the back of a chair in the kitchen.

She had gone downstairs in her home at around 5.30pm on February 12 and found Clutton in her kitchen.

His getaway was slowed when the handles of the bag had caught in a chair and he was confronted by the homeowner.

She described him as looking “as shocked as she felt”.

She grabbed hold of him but he managed to wriggle from her grip and ran away.

He then returned to his mother’s home and told her he had done something “stupid”.

She tried to persuade him to hand himself in but instead he changed his clothes and left.

Prosecutor Kevin Jones told Swansea Crown Court it was “to her credit” she then reported her son.

Clutton was arrested the following day and told police he had been using £10 of heroin a day and that he committed this offence to fund his habit.

In a statement to the court, the woman said she was “extremely traumatised” by the offence and has difficulty sleeping and is suffering flashbacks.

Mr Jones said: “She was proposed to at her home and clearly the break-in took the gloss off.”

He said she had told police she hoped he would get help for his drug addiction.

Clutton has a previous conviction for aggravated burglary and one for attempted burglary.

Stuart John, for Clutton, said his client had pleaded guilty to burglary at the earlier opportunity and that he had gone into the house after seeing the door open.

Clutton was warned by Recorder Geraint Walters that his next burglary conviction would land him a minimum jail term of three years unless he “changes his ways”.

Clutton was jailed for 16 months.

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