The offence of burglary becomes aggravated where the offender breaks into a property in possession of weapons such as firearm or indeed a fake gun for the purpose of instilling fear in the occupants. Section 10 of the 1968 Theft Act states clearly that where an offender has with him at the time of the burglary a firearm, an imitation of a firearm, any weapon offence and/or explosives, he is committing aggravated burglary. The two elements of this crime are that the offender had the qualifying weapons with him/her and that he/she was aware of their possession of the weapons at the time. It does not exonerate culpability where an offender claims that he or she had no intention of using the weapon during the burglary.
Having the weapon or firearm on his or her person at the time is sufficient for the establishment of the offence of aggravated burglary. The seriousness of the offence is evident in the sentencing of aggravated burglary which is based on the severity of the case but may vary from 18 months custodial sentence in first time offenders’ cases to more than 10 years imprisonment in more serious cases. An indictable offence, aggravated burglary sentence may be as high as life imprisonment in the UK. The level of the harm potentially occasioned on the persons present during the burglary, the fact that the firearm was loaded or not, the offender’s criminal record or any history of convictions are all factors that will be taken into consideration when determining the level of seriousness to be accorded aggravated burglary sentencing.
We are first amongst equals in the field of criminal defence and have many years of experience in defending burglary, aggravated, burglary, armed robbery and related offences. Yet we will treat your case as an individual case and accord it the specialist attention to detail and tailor made preparation best suited to your particular circumstances. Contact us today for an initial discussion of your case with one of our highly dedicated experts.