Man in court accused of ransacking scores of homes across Hampshire and Sussex

A FORMER double-glazing fitter raided 40 homes across Hampshire and Sussex in a six-week burglary spree, a court has heard.

Tuesday, 14th June 2016, 7:00 am
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 3:01 am
Albert James leaves court

Albert James is accused of ransacking properties across the south coast, stealing countless pieces of jewellery, as well as cash, booze, electronics and a guitar.

Portsmouth Crown Court heard how the 56-year-old would monitor his targets for long periods of time before using bricks to smash windows to get into the properties.

On a few occasions it is alleged he removed entire window panels in a bid to enter homes.

James, of Mill Pond Crescent, Donnington, near Chichester, started his spree on October 25, 2014, with the last crime on December 10, 2014.

In this time, he targeted homes in Waterlooville, Havant, Hayling Island, Fareham, Drayton, Horndean, Catisfield, Bognor, Midhurst, Littlehampton, Westergate and Worthing.

Yesterday, prosecutor Tim Moores told the jury how James’s silver Mitsubishi Shogun and phone had been identified in the rough locations of all the crimes, and that CCTV showed a man fitting the defendant’s description outside a home in Manet Square, Bognor at the time of a burglary on October 25, 2014.

Although he said there was ‘no forensic evidence’ placing the northerner at the crime scenes, he claimed data from mobile phone cell sites, linking his phone to the areas, combined with hits on nearby automatic number plate recognition systems and CCTV left it ‘reasonable to infer’ James was in the area.

‘It would be a remarkable coincidence that there was someone entirely unconnected with the same vehicle, in the same area with the same phone on those dates,’ Mr Moores told the jury.

James protests his innocence, denying all 51 counts against him, which include burglary, attempted burglary and intent to commit burglary.