Witham/Colchester: Justice secured for victims of three burglaries
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Justice has been secured for the victims of three burglaries following extensive investigations led by several teams across Essex Police.
Danny Middleton, 31, and Kieran Tansey, 22, were left with no choice but to admit their guilt after homes were targeted in Witham and Colchester.
Tansey also attempted to evade capture after going on the run in a bid to escape custody, after he breached a restraining order put in place to protect a woman from further harm.
In July 2023, one victim left his home, in Witham, locked and secure, but returned later that morning to find he had been burgled.
A rear conservatory door had been forced open, causing the glass to crack.
Five air rifles, ammunition, jewellery and cash were stolen from the address.
Footage gathered during a thorough investigation showed Middleton approaching the rear of the address and trying the victim’s garage door.
Further footage later showed Middleton emerging from the side of the address carrying several large items – believed to be the rifles.
Forensic examination of the scene identified two fingerprints attributed to Middleton.
'Targeted the vulnerable'
That same month, another victim – a vulnerable man aged in his 60s, from Witham – had been expecting a visit from a charity to collect an armchair he was disposing of.
He had recently suffered a fall, so left his front door unlocked to allow carers to gain access to his home without him having to let them in.
A man, later identified to be Middleton, entered the victim’s home under the guise of collecting the armchair.
Once he had left, the victim found cash had been stolen from his wallet.
Enquiries by our officers found witnesses had seen Middleton loitering and acting suspiciously outside the victim’s property.
Middleton was also found to have burgled a home in Colchester alongside co-defendant Kieran Tansey, in September 2022.
The victim returned to her property to find two watches and a four-figure sum of cash had been stolen.
Our investigation into this burglary involved extensive analysis of CCTV and ring doorbell footage, which placed both defendants in the area at the time of the offence.
Middleton, of Wulvesford, Witham, later admitted three counts of burglary, while Tansey, of no fixed address, admitted one count of burglary.
Tansey also admitted breaching a restraining order, put in place in March 2023 to protect a woman.
In direct breach of the order, he repeatedly attempted to contact her.
Our investigation found a phone number believed to be used by Tansey called victim on a daily basis, a total of 698 times, over the space of 15 days in April 2023.
He committed this offence just days after his release from prison, while still on license.
Tansey cut off his monitoring tag and absconded from his approved premises shortly after his release.
Specialist officers from the Domestic Abuse Problem Solving Team (DAPST) initiated a manhunt and quickly identified Tansey was on the run.
Across a relentless investigation, the team tracked him across Essex, London, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire, keeping the pressure on Tansey and forcing him to continuously move.
He was arrested in May.
Appearing at Ipswich Crown Court on Friday 22 September, Tansey was sentenced to 20 months’ imprisonment.
Middleton was sentenced to three years and two weeks imprisonment.
'No stone left unturned'
PC Rob Kedar, of Colchester DAPST, said:
“Tansey was released from prison on license in early April – but within a week he saw fit to offend again. “We left no stone unturned in our work to trace and locate Tansey before he caused further harm. "I would like to thank the public for sharing our public appeal to find Tansey, which was instrumental in securing his arrest. “Due to the overwhelming evidence gathered by North DAPST and Colchester DAIT, he was left with no choice but to plead guilty. “We are committed, day in day out, to protecting victims from harassment and domestic abuse across Essex."
Protecting burglary victims
A/DI Dan Smith, of Braintree CID, said:
“We are all too aware of the lasting impact burglary has on victims. “The upset and trauma of these offences is not quickly forgotten, which is why tackling domestic burglary is an absolute priority for us. “Middleton showed little regard for the welfare of his victims and he will rightly spend a lengthy spell behind bars.”
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