Downham Market woman tells of outrage after burglar avoids prison

Pam Gorman at Pammie's Snack Bar Catering Van on A134 Wereham
Pam Gorman at Pammie's Snack Bar Catering Van on A134 Wereham

A woman from Downham whose home was burgled by her builder has said she is “appalled” after he avoided a prison sentence for the ordeal.

Pam Gorman told the Lynn News that the raid in December had turned her life “upside down”.

On Tuesday, John Shipp, 39, was handed an eight-month jail term, suspended for two years, at a hearing at Norwich Crown Court.

Shipp, of Nelson Avenue, pleaded guilty to the burglary charge, and was also ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work and to pay compensation to Mrs Gorman.

But she feels that this punishment is not tough enough.

“I am appalled. What I am most appalled about is that the amount of compensation doesn’t even cover the amount he stole,” she said.

Along with the money which was taken, Mrs Gorman said her patio doors and windows were ruined during the raid – for which she had to pay for the repairs out of her own pocket.

“His burglary cost me more than £3,000 and I have been told I will be paid £1,100. But so far I have not had any money at all.

“It feels like he has been awarded and surely that should have been unquestionable. It seems like being a burglar is profitable.

“I am absolutely livid.”

Shipp also received a five-year restraining order against Mrs Gorman, which she is thankful for but she believes it will be difficult to implement.

“He is not allowed to come near me, but we only live three streets away from each other.

“That in itself is hard because we share the same supermarket and car park.

“It’s just horrendously unfair – my family feel completely dumbfounded.”

Back in February, Mrs Gorman told the Lynn News she had suffered panic attacks since the raid and had installed extra security measures at her home.

A previous court hearing in Lynn was told that there had been a breach of trust when Shipp returned to her home months after completing work for Mrs Gorman.

At the time, she said: “My life has changed since this man broke into my home and stole from me. I’m more suspicious about people generally, and can’t help but worry what people’s motivations might be.

“I feel more paranoid that people are going to take advantage of me in some way. I’ve always been very trusting, but John Shipp has destroyed this.”