Bromley burglar used tea towels to bind elderly victims in ‘terrifying’ Wilmington burglary

PUBLISHED: 09:59 20 March 2017 | UPDATED: 09:59 20 March 2017

James Draper

James Draper


The incident happened in 2015

Harry Cochrane Harry Cochrane

A burglar who tied up an elderly coupled after smashing his way into their Wilmington home was jailed last week.

James Draper’s DNA was found on tea towels used to bind his victims’ hands and feet together after the 36-year-old broke into their home in September 2015.

Draper stormed into his victims’ home in Birchwood Road at around 10.15pm where he discovered them in the kitchen.

Armed with a knife, Draper and an accomplice ordered the couple, both in their 80s, to get on the ground

The pair then tied up the couple, taking the man’s watch from his wrist and dragging him into separate room, away from his wife.

Both offenders fled the property in their victim’s car, after stealing cash, jewellery, bank cards and other personal possessions, as well as tearing off a telephone from the wall.

The victims managed to free themselves, and flagged down a passer-by.

Draper, formerly of Magpie Hall Close, Bromley, pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary, as did his accomplice - a 17-year-old boy from Dartford - who was subsequently jailed last April, for five years and four months.

Draper also admitted to a further break-in, which happened at a commercial premise situated off the A20 in Swanley, on June 27, 2016.

During this incident a number of power tools, an Iveco commercial lorry and two BMW vehicles were stolen.

Draper was handed an 11-and-a-half year prison sentence when he appeared at Maidstone Crown Court last week.

Former Leydenhatch Lane, Swanley resident, 20-year-old Harry Cochrane was admitted two counts of burglar and theft of a motor vehicle relating to the Swanley incident.

He received a four-and-a-half year prison term.

Det const Rob Hemsley said: “This was a terrifying ordeal for the two victims, who were left traumatised to the extent that they now wish to leave their home of more than 40 years. James Draper displayed scant regard for their welfare and is clearly a dangerous man who belongs behind bars.

“The forensic evidence captured at the scene of the crime was absolutely vital in this case and has resulted in two serious offenders being brought to justice. The probability of the DNA on the tea towels belonging to anyone other than Draper was one in one billion, which demonstrates the importance of carrying out such tests.”

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