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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

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Criminal addicted to burglary jailed at Carlisle court

A career criminal whose barrister told a Carlisle judge that he is “addicted to burglary” after his latest spate of break-ins was today beginning a four-year jail term.

Martin Brown photo
Martin Brown

Martin Brown, 50, carried out his latest burglary offences a few days before last Christmas, targeting two takeaway restaurants in Carlisle and an Argos store.

He was finally cornered thanks to an alert business owner and police officers supported by a sniffer dog.

At Carlisle Crown Court, Brown, originally from the north east but now of no fixed address, admitted three burglaries and one offence of going equipped – effectively carrying his “tools of the trade”.

Brendan Burke, prosecuting, described how Brown struck at the Sian Thai restaurant in Lonsdale Street on the night of December 16.

The owner had been upstairs when an app on his mobile phone alerted him to an intruder in the shop and relayed live CCTV images.

Brown ransacked the till but escaped before the police arrived.

From there, he went to the nearby Argos store in Carlisle, where he forced entry, triggering an alarm.

The police quickly arrived at the scene, and Brown was cornered in the stockroom where he was hiding.

Investigations later revealed that Brown had also raided the Keyani Grill House in Botchergate, where he used a crow bar to force open the till.

He escaped with cash, a small safe, and the contents of a jar used by the owner to collect cash for charity.

David Wales, defending, said Brown had been released from an earlier jail sentence just a few days before and he wanted to give his nine-year-old son a gift for Christmas.

The advocate said: “So he made a very poor decision and fell back into a very poor pattern of behaviour.

“He can offer no justification or explanation for why he commits offences of this nature but he does suffer from a degree of addiction to this kind of offence.

“It’s notable, unlike other career criminals who come before the courts, he suffers from neither addiction to drugs nor alcohol.

“His problem is an addiction of the offence [of burglary].

Judge Paul Batty QC told the defendant, who asked for another burglary in Boston, Lincolnshire to be taken into consideration, that his record for such offences was appalling – yet previous long custodial sentences had failed to deter him.

The judge added: “In my judgement, given your total and willful disregard for the law, a significant sentence, I am afraid, now must follow. You are 50 and it is time that you desisted from this type of activity. The fact that you wanted to give your nine-year-old son a Christmas present is no mitigation whatsoever.”

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