Manchester

Wayne Rooney break-in bid: Man jailed

Robert McNamara Image copyright PA
Image caption Robert McNamara who tried to burgle Wayne Rooney's mansion was sentenced at Chester Crown Court

An ex-serviceman who tried to break in to Wayne Rooney's home while he was playing in his testimonial match at Old Trafford has been jailed.

Robert McNamara, 24, of Scarborough, had pleaded guilty at Chester Crown Court to attempting to enter as a trespasser with intent to steal.

The alarm at the footballer's £6m property in Prestbury, Cheshire, was triggered on 3 August, the court heard.

McNamara was sentenced to two years and eight months.

'Sleepless nights'

Rooney, his wife, Coleen, and their three sons, Kai, Klay and Kit, were attending the charity tribute game against his first club Everton when the break-in bid took place.

In a victim impact statement read in court, Mrs Rooney said the incident had caused "sleepless nights" and had made her fear for the safety of their three children while they played in the garden.

She said the couple had spent extra money on security since the incident as she "no longer felt comfortable" at home unless accompanied.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The game at Old Trafford, between Rooney's only two professional clubs, marked his 12 years of service at Manchester United

McNamara, of Newby Farm Crescent, Scalby, was arrested six days after he tried to break in and pleaded guilty at Chester Crown Court in October.

CCTV showed him walking around the grounds, with his face covered by a balaclava, and trying a door handle, setting off a perimeter alarm.

Police found a rucksack containing cable ties, a head torch and a balaclava which had McNamara's DNA on it.

A second rucksack found in his home contained a ski mask with black tape over it which the court heard could have been used as a blindfold.

Image caption Wayne and Coleen Rooney's home featured in a BBC documentary last year

Taryn Jones Turner, defending, said McNamara had served seven years in the armed forces and had "not found life on Civvy Street as easy as he expected".

He had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and was receiving medication as well as being given support by the British Legion, she added.

Judge Patrick Thompson said: "It is concerning as to what your intent would have been had you gained entrance to the property and come across somebody else."

Image copyright AP
Image caption Wayne Rooney was shown in his trophy room for BBC documentary The Man Behind The Goals

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