Man jailed for string of late-night burglaries across Hackney

Jailed: Claudius Francis. Picture: Met Police

Jailed: Claudius Francis. Picture: Met Police - Credit: Archant

A man has been jailed for eight years over a string of late-night burglaries in Hackney.

During one of them, Claudius Francis, 49, threatened a woman with a knife.

He was sentenced at Wood Green Crown Court yesterday, having pleaded guilty at the same court on December 4 to two charges of aggravated burglary, one of burglary, one of attempted burglary and one of fraud.

On June 20 at 4.30am in Brooke Road, a woman in her 50s was woken up by her dog barking. She looked around her home and found Francis in her living room searching through her belongings.

When she confronted the burglar, he produced a knife and threatened her with it. The suspect fled through a window when the woman’s son confronted him.

He made off with a purse, debit card, a silver ring and the victim’s driving licence.

Francis was arrested by police officers on August 13 when a member of the public reported a burglary taking place at Dyenvor Road, Stoke Newington, at about 12.30am.

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Cops found Francis inside armed with a lock knife. DNA evidence linked him to the other offences, including the June 20 burglary, a burglary in Dalston on June 29 and an attempted burglary in Stoke Newington on June 19.

Det Insp Paul Ridley, of Hackney Police, said: “Night-time burglaries in occupied houses are extremely rare, more so with offenders brandishing weapons. The man who challenged Francis when he made threats with a knife was extremely brave.

“Francis gained access through open sash windows during the hottest period of the year. I hope the public will be offered a degree of comfort in the knowledge that he will be spending this and many more Christmas’s behind bars.”