HAPPY MAN: Handbag grabber Kenneth Shenton, 20, celebrated outside Ipswich Courthouse when given a suspended jail sentence.
HAPPY MAN: Handbag grabber Kenneth Shenton, 20, celebrated outside Ipswich Courthouse when given a suspended jail sentence. Ross Irby

Hapless handbag thief caught in the act

DAD-to-be Kenneth Shenton was spotted by a woman as he tried to take off with her handbag.

The hapless burglar, who had climbed 2.5m to sneak through the window, dropped the loot in panic as he fled.

Shenton was tracked by Ipswich detectives after leaving his fingerprints at the scene.

The 20-year-old, who Ipswich Magistrates Court heard was to become a dad, was all smiles outside court after receiving a six-month jail term, immediately suspended.

He has already served jail time for other stealing offences.

Shenton, from Laidley, pleaded guilty to entering a house in Toowong and stealing a handbag on July 16.

Police prosecutor constable Dave Shelton said the woman saw Shenton halfway through the window at 4.30pm after hearing noises.

He said she yelled out but the intruder grabbed her handbag. It was dropped in the yard as he fled.

Constable Shelton said Shenton used an outside water heater to gain access. Shenton was arrested at Ipswich train station on July 27 but refused to be interviewed.

Defence lawyer Trevor Hoskin said Shenton received a jail term in 2015 and his parole was later cancelled on similar offences.

"His family have disowned him and are not concerned about what is happening to him," he said.

Mr Hoskin said life had improved as he'd moved in with the family of his best friend.

He was also in a relationship with a young woman with two children. She was expecting their first child - "they seem to be a very happy couple".

Magistrate Donna MacCallum said there was a clear indication of remorse and a desire to get on with his life.

However, she noted that soon after his release from jail he had re-offended.

Shenton was sentenced to eight months' jail.

It was immediately suspended.



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