Duo jailed for holiday home thefts

Jay Retallic of Bridlington
Jay Retallic of Bridlington

A Bridlington man has been jailed for three years after he admitted stealing thousands of pounds’ worth of goods from holiday homes at Primrose Valley holiday park in Filey.

Jay Retallic, 25, and his accomplice Michael Kelly, 26, targeted 23 caravans in November last year, stealing TVs and other electrical items worth at least £11,000.

Michael Kelly of Driffield

Michael Kelly of Driffield

One of the caravans was occupied by a 75-year-old woman who was asleep in her bed when she was woken at 2am by one of the burglars creeping into her bedroom.

Another caravan - all but one of which was unoccupied at the time of the raids - was used by a cancer charity which provided breaks for poorly children and their families.

Retallic, of Tennyson Avenue, and Kelly, of The Close, Driffield, appeared at York Crown Court for sentence on Friday after they both admitted conspiracy to burgle on November 17 and 29.

Prosecuting barrister Rob Galley said that in the first wave of attacks, 13 static caravans were ransacked in the early hours of the morning after windows were forced through.

Goods worth between £400 and £1,000 were stolen from each property, some of which - including the elderly woman’s holiday home - were raided twice.

In the first break-in, one of the burglars peered round her bedroom door and, on seeing the “terrified” pensioner, fled from the caravan, leaving dirty footprints in the living room. The caravan was raided again 12 days later when it was unoccupied.

The elderly victim, who was named in court, had her laptop stolen which contained family photos.

A holiday home belonging to an elderly man was also raided twice. On the second occasion, the burglars made off with a TV, camera tripod and even his walking boots. Toys belonging to his grandchildren had been violated during the ransacking.

Following the second wave of burglaries, Retallic called a Bridlington taxi out to the caravan park. On arrival, the taxi driver, unaware of what had taken place, was told to wait just outside the holiday resort while the two burglars went back inside to retrieve their ill-gotten gains.

But police were lying in wait and underneath one of the caravans they found eight television sets and 13 remote controls.

Mr Galley said that thousands of pounds’ worth of damage had been caused to the caravans, mainly to toilet windows which had been forced through.

He said that although Kelly did not take part in the first raids on November 17, he had arranged the collection and transport of the stolen goods.

Kelly, who has worked in the building trade, had 25 previous convictions for offences such as robbery, burglary and fraud.

Retallic, a father-of-one and former retail worker, had 20 previous convictions for theft and handling stolen goods. Both men were drug addicts and had been offending since their teens.

Jailing both men for three years, Recorder Mark McKone said they should be particularly ashamed of attacking caravans used by a cancer charity and retired people whose holidays had been “ruined” by the defendants’ callous behaviour.