Man plotted burglary on house

PUBLISHED: 12:34 01 June 2006 | UPDATED: 10:14 06 May 2010

THREE men who plotted a burglary terrified a woman in the house when the plan was put into action, a court heard. The woman was alone when she heard noises outside and saw the figure of a man trying to get in, said prosecutor Maryam Syed. She rang her par

THREE men who plotted a burglary terrified a woman in the house when the plan was put into action, a court heard.

The woman was alone when she heard noises outside and saw the figure of a man trying to get in, said prosecutor Maryam Syed.

She rang her partner who came home and challenged the intruder, Dean Basson. He claimed he was looking for his dog and explained away the surgical gloves he was wearing by saying he suffered from hypothermia.

But Basson was arrested shortly after along with John McPherson, a former private eye, who had recruited him.

Both men also told police who was behind the plot, car dealer Reginald Armiger.

Miss Syed said Armiger and the householder had known each other for about 30 years and had businesses close to each other in Great Barford.

The victim had always thought they were friends, but Armiger wrongly thought that he might be involved in causing damage to some cars on his forecourt.

He told McPherson and Basson and said they would find money in the Great Barford house and if they burgled the property they could keep some of the cash.

All three men pleaded guilty at Luton Crown Court last week to conspiracy to burgle in August 2004 and were all given community punishment orders.

Armiger, 61, from, Ravensthorpe, Peterborough, was ordered to do 110 hours; McPherson, 51, of Kings Road, Broom, was ordered to do 80 hours, and Basson, 29, formerly of Abbey Grove, Sandy, but now living in hostel accommodation in Hitchin, was ordered to do 60 hours.

Recorder Joanne Harris said: "For a woman at home alone to be aware someone is trying to break in was terrifying and I have read about the long term impact it has had on her."

McPherson and Basson had pleaded guilty to the charge as long ago as November 2004 and had been prepared to give evidence at Armiger's trial.

But he eventually pleaded guilty in April this year when his trial was due to take place.

The Recorder said she had taken into account that for them, they had been waiting for 18 months to be sentenced.

Stephen Akinsanya, defending McPherson, said: "Waiting for this day has caused him immense stress, and one can imagine how the victims feel about that as well. He is contrite and remorseful."

McPherson apologised to the victims from the dock. The court was told that he was about to fly to Thailand to marry his former wife for a second time.

Jane Dodds, defending Basson, said "He was an idiot to go along with such a stupid plan. He had never previously been involved in any criminal activity but was tempted by the money.

"He was told there would be nobody in the property, which was important to him. When he saw lights on he rang McPherson but was reassured no-one was home. He feels very concerned for what that lady must have felt."

John McNally for Armiger said: "This was an attempt to get some money in a scheme of self help. It was unlawful and disgraceful.

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