Burglars stab holes in woman’s bed and then write ‘sorry’
Burglars stabbed a woman’s bed and scrawled the word “sorry” on the wall above it. Police caught one of the culprits, Samuel Urch, after finding his blood in the Cardiff flat. The 30-year-old and his accomplices stole around GBP1,500 worth of items from the ground-floor home on The Walk, Roath, in August last year.
Prosecutor Eugene Egan told Cardiff Crown Court: “Mercifully, the two female students living in the flat were not there at the time. The route of entry was at the rear of the property, a window which could not be closed fully. “Intercom wires were cut and, rather strangely, the word ‘sorry’ was written on the wall above one of the occupant’s bed.
A knife was used to cause holes in the bed and a mirror was smashed.” Read next:Little boy killed by truck driven by father on family farm, inquest told The court heard the burglars “trashed” the home and took an iPhone, Apple watch and jewellery of sentimental value.
One of the students said she later suffered panic attacks and moved homes because of the “terrifying” thought of someone “going round stabbing things”. Urch was arrested last November after tests showed his blood was on candles at the scene. Police also found his DNA on a hammer left in the bed.
Wearing his long brown hair in a topknot, Urch appeared in court on Monday after admitting burglary. He has 32 previous convictions including criminal damage, attempting to supply Class A drugs, possession of a blade and “masses of thefts”, the court heard. In her victim statement, one of the students said: “They stabbed my bed with a knife and also stabbed through the door.
It looked like they had gone through everything. I had multiple sentimental items taken. The fact someone was in my flat with a knife and going round stabbing things was terrifying, not only for the sheer disregard for my property but also the thought of ‘what if I had been home when they came in?’ What would they have done to me?”
She experienced panic attacks and sleep paralysis following the burglary, which she said led to her failing three exams and eventually missing out on a first in her degree. The student had only moved into the flat two months before the crime but she was too traumatised to continue living there. “It has cast a long shadow on my life,” she said. The burglary took place some time between August 21 and 25 last year.
Urch was jailed later that month for offences he committed on August 26 — criminal damage, knife possession and cannabis possession — which saw him handed 20 weeks in prison. Hilary Roberts, mitigating, pointed out his client was arrested last November for the Roath burglary but was not charged until June this year. Urch was recently recalled to prison due to the case. “It is a matter of some disquiet to me that he wasn’t dealt with before he was released from [his previous term in] custody,” said the barrister.
Mr Roberts said heroin was the “principal author” of Urch’s crimes but he had not taken the drug since his previous jail term. “He had a good record in prison with passing tests and getting certain jobs. He has completed the first year of his Open University degree,” said the barrister. The barrister added that his client was one of three people involved in the burglary — a claim accepted by Judge Michael Fitton QC — and that he did not know where the knife came from.
Mr Roberts said Urch did not “remember much” about the burglary but was “disgusted” with himself and “horrified” at the impact on the victims. The judge read a handwritten letter from the defendant but said it did little to help his case. He added: “The fact you were with other people doesn’t make things better…
You are responsible for what happened on a joint enterprise.” Judge Fitton said he would give Urch the “benefit of the doubt” that it was not he who brought the knife into the home, but described the scene discovered by the students when they returned as “utterly terrifying”. The judge imposed an 18-month jail term.
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