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Prolific criminal from Haverhill given five-year prison term for 'ransacking' couple's rural home

A court has heard how a burglary that landed the perpetrator with a five year prison sentence has left the couple that owned the house feeling 'violated', 'insecure' and living an 'ongoing nightmare'.

At Ipswich Crown Court today, 47-year-old Darryl Barfield, of Strasbourg Square in Haverhill was sentenced to five-years in prison for the burglary of a couple's three-bedroom house in Mount Pleasant, Hundon in November 2018.

He had been found guilty after an earlier trial.

Darryl Barfield was sentenced to five years for ransacking a couples home. Picture courtesy of Suffolk Constabulary (30874734)
Darryl Barfield was sentenced to five years for ransacking a couples home. Picture courtesy of Suffolk Constabulary (30874734)

The husband and wife who live in the house had been away for a few days and returned at about 1.30am on November 28 to find the house had been broken into and every room ransacked.

Prosecuting, Marc Brown, said Barfield was traced by police after a half finished protein drink with his DNA on it was found in the house.

Mr Brown said that Barfield had 49 previous court appearances to his name for 98 offences, dating back to 1989.

The husband and Barfield were also known to each other, said Mr Brown, having both attended an alcohol addiction programme in the past.

"This was a deliberate targetting," said Mr Brown. "There was some association between thedefendant and the victim in this case."

Reading out a victim statement in court, the husband said: "The horror of discovering that my house had been broken into and every to and every room had been ransacked was a strong shock to my system.

"It has had a huge impact on me and my physical health has been greatly affected. I became profoundly unwell and it caused me to suffer a complete mental breakdown."

The court heard that the burglary resulted in the 63-year-old victim spending two weeks in Wedgwood House at West Suffolk Hospital for psychiatric treatment.

He also said that he now suffers from "long periods of deep depression and sudden panic attacks".

He went on to say: "I find it impossible to gain any piece of mind. I feel unsafe and insecure in my own home.

"I carry with me the constant sick feeling of violation."

The husband said he has lost a vast amount of items in the burglary, including hiking and walking equipment and clothing, power tools and gardening equipment and a laptop and digital camera.

He had also lost items of great personal value, such as his collection of rare art cinema releases on DVD and his collection of jazz recordings on vinyl and CD, the latter "representing a lifetime of trading and collecting that would now be impossible to replicate."

But he also lost what he said were "precious family photos" of his grandfather in a First World War uniform and a watch made in Switzerland passed down through three generations to him.

Of the watch, he said: "It was my most prized possession and now its gone and I'm most heartbroken and I will miss it every day of my life."

The knowledge that Barfield knew him, said the victim, was the worst aspect of it all.

He said: "I feel utterly betrayed. I find myself bereft of any hope. For me this is the truly venomous sting in all of the tail."

His wife added: "For him (her husband) this is an ongoing nightmare. For me this is an overwhelming struggle to help him get through each day.

"It is beyond me how someone could do something like this to someone who has done them no wrong."

In mitigation, Philip Farr said: "He's got a huge number of convictions. Nobody disputes that but since 2010 there are fewer than 10 convictions in total, so a huge bulkof his offending is well over ten years old.

"It is of course not laudable but for a man with record like his it is noteworthy."

Mr Farr added that in the last few years Barfield had 'been working towards' being free of drug addiction.

Judge David Goodin told Barfield: "You certainly have led a criminal lifestyle, no doubt attributable in part to your dependence on drugs and in the past on alcohol."

Judge Goodin, who also said he believed that more than one person committed the burglary, sentenced Barfield to five years in prison.

He will serve half in prison and the remainder out on licence.

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