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Monday, 22 December 2014

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Cumbrian bungling burglar jailed for a year

A repeat burglar who made four bungled attempts to smash his way into a gaming machine inside a betting shop has been jailed for a year.

Carlisle Crown Court heard how Glen Scott, 40, first used a brick in an attempt to smash his way into the machine at the Betfred bookies in Lowther Street, Whitehaven, during the overnight raid.

He went back to the shop three times, and each time used a different implement in failed attempts to get inside the machine and get cash.

Scott, of Bowness Road, Greenbank, Whitehaven, admitted a single count of burglary.

Prosecutor Beccy McGregor told how it had been 3.15am on March 5 this year when police became aware that Scott was burgling the town centre bookmakers.

They arrived to find that Scott had crawled into the shop through a large hole, which he had smashed in the lower half of the front door. They found the defendant skulking at the rear of the shop. Miss McGregor said CCTV footage later showed Scott attacking the gaming machine with a brick.

Describing the footage, she said: “He leaves the shop after two minutes and 20 minutes later reappears, to attack the gaming machine with another implement.

“He leaves the property again and returns five minutes later and pulls the gaming machine over and attacks it with a fire extinguisher from inside the shop. He leaves through the window again and returns again, again attacking the machine.”

It was at this point – after four failed attempts to break into the machine – that the police arrived.

Miss McGregor said that Scott caused £3,500 worth of damage.

Told that he already had 32 burglaries on his record, the judge described his criminal record as “appalling”.

Marion Weir, mitigating, said that at the time of the raid Scott had taken diazepam tablets.

She added that his offence had been “unsophisticated”, and one that was always going to be detected.

Recorder David Williams said: “I have read your letter and it’s such a shame that you have expressed in that letter things which you are trying to sort out in your life.

“But you are a criminal and you can’t get away from it.”

He said that the offence – aggravated by his criminal record – had been planned and prepared for. He acknowledged that Scott now wanted to get off drugs and sort out his life.

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