Addict jailed for two years for spree of burglaries at Grantham businesses

Lincoln Crown Court.
Lincoln Crown Court.

A crack addict who burgled several businesses across Grantham has been jailed for two years.

Lee Gray, from Grantham, admitted seven commercial burglaries and one attempted burglary – carried out during a 10-day crime spree earlier this year – at Lincoln Crown Court.

Among them was the birthplace of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Gray smashed a window to get into the natural health and chiropractic centre in North Parade, Grantham.

He went on to to steal a handbag, a purse and £20 cash.

The shop was originally Alf Roberts’ grocery shop where his daughter Margaret was born in an upstairs bedroom in October 1925.

The young Margaret spent her formative years living above the shop. She was head girl at the local Kesteven and Grantham Girls’ School before going on to study chemistry Oxford University. She later embarked on a career in politics which culminated in serving as prime minister betwern 1978 and 1990.

A plaque above the entrance of Living Health marks the fact that it was the birthplace of Britain’s first woman prime minister.

Lincoln Crown Court was told that the raid took place at night when a cleaner was working alone inside. The woman did not hear Gray breaking in as she was vacuuming at the time.

She was left in shock when she later discovered the burglary.

Phil Howes, prosecuting, said: “It was a forced entry. A window to a back room was broken. That cost £250 to repair.

“It was in an evening when a cleaner was on the premises. £20 in cash was taken from a locker as well as a purse and a handbag.

“The cleaner was concerned because she works on her own. It was in the evening and in darkness. She was traumatised.”

Gray, 35, admitted burglary on January 19. He admitted six other commercial burglaries and one attempted burglary.

Judge Michael Heath, passing sentence, told Gray: “This was a spree of offending in January of this year.

“The only sentences for these offences are custodial sentences.”

Mark Watson, in mitigation, said: “If he had known the cleaner was in there he wouldn’t have gone in.”

He said Gray was a crack cocaine addict whose drug taking had spiralled out of control.