Un­suc­cess­ful bur­glars jailed af­ter tar­get­ing OAPS’ home

Gloucestershire Echo - - NEWS - By JOHN HAWKINS

APAIR of bur­glars failed to steal any­thing at all from an el­derly cou­ple’s home and were seen by many wit­nesses, two of whom filmed them, a court heard.

Des­mond Thomp­son, 44, of no fixed abode, and Kevin Sex­ton, 40, of Avon Road, Oak­ley, Chel­tenham pleaded guilty to bur­gling the house in Old Bath Road on July 11.

Thomp­son was de­scribed by Judge Michael Cul­lum as hav­ing a ‘hor­ren­dous’ list of pre­vi­ous con­vic­tions while Sex­ton was ‘a third striker’ li­able to a manda­tory min­i­mum three year sen­tence be­cause of his past bur­glary of­fences.

Pros­e­cu­tor Nick Fridd said that not only were the de­fen­dants seen be­fore, dur­ing and af­ter the raid they even spo­ken to the home­owner when he saw them sit­ting op­po­site his house as he went out.

The pros­e­cu­tor said that one wit­ness was watch­ing from a first floor win­dow across the street and saw Sex­ton kick open the front door ‘with a sin­gle mo­tion.’

The wit­ness called the home­owner, who re­turned to the prop­erty.

An­other wit­ness was con­cerned by the pres­ence of the two men, and filmed them on her mo­bile phone.

The fol­low­ing day po­lice recog­nised the de­fen­dants from the pho­to­graphs they had taken.

Rep­re­sent­ing both men, Matthew Harbin­son submitted the of­fence was not as se­ri­ous as a night-time bur­glary when peo­ple were at home and sen­ti­men­tal items were stolen.

How­ever he con­ceded that any sen­tence would be ag­gra­vated due to the men’s long list of pre­vi­ous con­vic­tions.

On be­half of Thomp­son, Mr Harbin­son said: “He has a large num­ber of of­fences, but is not open to, or prone to, dwelling house bur­glar­ies.”

Mr Harbin­son said his client had been through the prison sys­tem many times.

He says he is re­leased with no sup­port, no ben­e­fit and no hope.

The lawyer said Thomp­son was very apolo­getic for his ‘drunken stupid mis­take.’

“He says he would not want to harm any­one, and would apol­o­gise to the vic­tims.”

Turn­ing to Sex­ton, Mr Harbin­son said his client had been re­leased from his last jail sen­tence for bur­glary in a ‘pos­i­tive frame of mind.’

But then watch­ing the World Cup Semi Fi­nal, he ‘drank al­co­hol to ex­cess, then took il­le­gal drugs.’

“He used sub­stances and ex­er­cised very poor judge­ment,” Mr Harbin­son said.

Set­ting out how un­so­phis­ti­cated the bur­glary was, the lawyer said: “There were peo­ple every­where.

“The home­owner had a con­ver­sa­tion with them, and they were videoed on at least two mo­bile phones.

“Two men highly in­tox­i­cated not think­ing about their ac­tions, that will have dire con­se­quences for them.”

Judge Cul­lum noted that Thomp­son had 85 pre­vi­ous court ap­pear­ances on his record.

“You have over the years com­mit­ted many nui­sance of­fences,” he said, but noted that he did not have the three ‘qual­i­fy­ing’ pre­vi­ous bur­glary con­vic­tions un­like Sex­ton.

“This was an of­fence that like all bur­glar­ies has sig­nif­i­cant ef­fect no doubt in re­la­tion to the home­own­ers,” the judge told them.

“Both of the home­own­ers wit­nessed you run­ning from it. That is an ag­gra­vat­ing fea­ture.

“Both house­hold­ers were re­tired, aged 68 and 70,” he noted. “You went to­gether. You did not achieve any­thing.”

The judge granted Sex­ton a 20 per­cent dis­count on sen­tence for plead­ing guilty and jailed him for 876 days.

He said Thomp­son’s pre­vi­ous con­vic­tions were a ‘se­ri­ous ag­gra­vat­ing fea­ture’ and jailed him for eigh­teen months. echo.news@reach­plc.com

Both house­hold­ers were re­tired, aged 68 and 70. You went to­gether. You did not achieve any­thing. Judge Michael Cul­lum

Kevin Sex­ton

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