House boat burglar jumped in Regent’s Canal to flee police

PUBLISHED: 11:05 11 September 2014 | UPDATED: 17:13 11 September 2014

Narrow boats in the Kingsland Road basin. Photo Emma Bartholomew.

Narrow boats in the Kingsland Road basin. Photo Emma Bartholomew.


A homeless man jumped into the Regent’s Canal to escape police after he burgled a houseboat “looking for somewhere warm to sleep”.

Louis Lillington, 40 - who has 30 convictions for 45 offences including theft - broke into a narrowboat on November 12 last year, after its owner locked up and went out.

A resident from a neighbouring houseboat in Haggerston heard a crash and called police, who heard banging on board when they arrived.

When police called, Lillington stuck his head out of the broken window and tried to flee by jumping into the canal and trying to flee once he reached the bank.

Police, who threw him floating aids, caught him moments later on the bank, and called for medical assistance fearing he could suffer hypothermia.

They found a leather-bound box had been removed from a locked wardrobe on the boat, and drawers had been rifled through using cloths leaving no forensic traces.

Lillington, who has two previous domestic burglary convictions, pleaded guilty on the day of his trial on August 7.

John Hunter, for Lillington, explained he had recently split up with his wife, and got drunk after an arrangement to see his children fell through that day.

Mr Hunter added that he had been homeless and sleeping rough for several days before the incident.

He said: “He thought the boat had been left for the winter months, he had the intention of going there to have somewhere warm to sleep on a cold winter’s night.

“If there had been something inside he probably would have taken it, but that wasn’t his original intention.’

Mr Hunter explained his client had been struggling with alcoholism since his father was murdered in the Bahamas in 1993.

Lillington, of Welshpool House, Welshpool Street, London Fields, was sentenced to two and a half years in prison.

Latest Hackney Stories

The left-back talked up the potential of Myles Judd, Dan Happe and Marvin Ekpiteta after Saturday’s win

The 50-year-old reflected on the Premier League loss to Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium


Arsenal legend Nigel Winterburn has backed new head coach Unai Emery to deliver on his pressing ethos.

The pair will continue their comebacks by featuring in a behind closed doors match with Southend United today


As students picked up A-level results at BSix College, one former pupil was on hand to inspire those that weren’t in a celebratory mood.


Middlesex’s Robbie White admitted it had been a frustrating second day for them in their County Championship Division Two contest at Northamptonshire on Monday.


The revamped Savoy Cinema in Stoke Newington will reopen next month as Earth – and a host of new shows have also been announced.


Homeless and vulnerable people will be offered health checks at a festival in Finsbury Park next month.


To celebrate LGBT history month, Hackney resident Amanda talks about her journey to becoming a foster carer, with the council’s support and training.

Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Hackney Gazette twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists