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Thursday, 18 December 2014

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Cumbrian man who stole from his own brother jailed

A man wiped tears of shame from his eyes as he was sent to prison for burgling his own brother’s house.

“You can’t stoop much lower than that,” the judge told 33-year-old Paul Wilson, as details emerged of how he had gone into his brother Neil’s house in Egremont to steal money to settle a drugs debt.

Wilson – once a budding rugby league professional - nodded in agreement, bowed his head and wept.

Carlisle Crown Court heard that Wilson, of St Bridget’s Lane, Egremont, had let himself into his brother’s house in Cross Side, Egremont, knowing that he, his partner and children were out.

It was believed he had either deliberately left a door unlocked or had pocketed one of the family’s keys when visiting the house the day before, prosecutor Dick Binstead said.

Because there was no sign of a break-in the family had no idea what had happened until Neil Wilson went upstairs on his return and found “some evidence of a disturbance” in his bedroom.

A money box had been forced open and a small amount of money taken – even though £780 was left.

And more money had been taken from his wallet downstairs, although about £20 had been left.

Mr Binstead told the court that it was because of the money that had not been taken that Neil Wilson guessed his brother was responsible.

Paul Wilson, of St Bridget’s Lane, Egremont, pleaded guilty to the burglary and also admitted the “quite bizarre” thefts – on four separate occasions in less than a week – of meat from the Co-op store in Egremont’s Main Street.

Defence advocate Paul Green said Wilson was “absolutely disgusted” by himself for what he had done.

“He says his relationship with his brother has been ‘close’ in the past and he is horrified how what he did has impacted on his family,” he said.

Mr Green said that in his youth, Wilson had been a successful sportsman, but his abuse of drugs and alcohol had robbed him of what looked like being a successful career as a rugby player.

Passing sentence, Judge Peter Hughes QC told Wilson: “You had the potential and you had a lot going for you. But through becoming involved with drugs – and drinking too much – you threw all those chances away. And here you are now, at the age of 33, pleading guilty to the burglary of your own brother’s house – the home of your godson. You can’t stoop much lower than that.”

Wilson, who had 56 previous convictions, was sent to prison for 30 months for burgling his brother’s house. He was also ordered to serve an extra three months – making 33 months altogether – for stealing the meat.

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