A WANTED criminal who snatched jewellery worth £10,000 from an elderly woman’s Carlisle home has been jailed – almost eight years after he committed the crime.
The city’s crown court heard how a door of the 86-year-old’s Stanwix property was forced after she popped out the afternoon of October 5, 2011. She returned to find her property disturbed and all her jewellery missing.
A fingerprint left by crook Gavin Patrick Carabini was found in a study on a barometer which had belonged to the woman’s late husband. At the time, the 35-year-old had been living in Carlisle under a false name.
Police learned Carabini was on the run both having taken part in the 2008 armed robbery of a Dublin jewellers which yielded at 100,000-Euro haul; and, in May 2011, escaping a Welsh court dock while being sentenced for drug offending.
After an appeal for his whereabouts was aired on the BBC Crimewatch show, Carabini surrendered in Ireland. He served two-thirds of a lengthy prison term he received for the Dublin robbery and was bailed.
But he was then brought to court in England for the Carlisle crime earlier this year, admitted burglary and was locked up for three years today (FRI).
Irish national Carabini, of Our Lady’s Road, Maryland, Dublin, was said to have been “running wild” in the grip of a serious class A drug habit at the time of his criminal conduct. However, Judge Adkin heard he had latterly penned a “heartfelt” letter of apology to his Carlisle burglary victim, and had “set about his own rehabilitation”.
Sentencing Carabini, Judge Adkin said he had “deliberately attacked” the pensioner’s home. “You stripped it of its valuable jewellery,” said Judge Adkin.
Of Carabini’s time on the run, the judge added: “The fact is you jumped between jurisdictions deliberately to evade justice.”
Detective Constable Chris Hind was one of the officers who led the case, being involved in the investigation from when the crime happened in 2011 through to today’s court hearing.
This case was pursued by police over the intervening years – and involved a TV appeal for information on Crimewatch and a trip to the Republic of Ireland to arrest the suspect.
Speaking after today’s court hearing, DC Hind welcomed the sentence handed out.
He added: “This case today should send a strong message to burglars – or any criminals operating in Cumbria.
“This man may have thought he had got away with this crime.
“But a piece of forensic evidence in the form of a fingerprint has led to him facing a court and answering for his crime years later.
“This burglary was committed in November of 2011, nearly nine years ago. Since then an investigation has continued to bring Carabini back to the UK to be brought to justice.
“This shows that Cumbria Constabulary do not stop in our pursuit of justice.
“It also shows the importance we place on protecting and helping the more vulnerable members of society.
“Other people who target people’s homes or carry out other crimes should think about this before they act.
“One tiny mistake means they may always be looking over their shoulder, facing arrest and prosecution.
“Criminals may think they can get away with the harm they do. But we will seek to find them and ensure they answer for their crimes.
“I would also like to thank the victim and her family for their patience and the support they have shown in the justice system during this time.”