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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

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Jail for would-be burglar caught in Carlisle bar

A would-be burglar caught in a Carlisle bar has been jailed for committing the crime just hours after getting a suspended sentence.

Paul Ellwood, 37, was caught exploring the back of the Andalusian bar on Warwick Road for nearly half an hour at about 7pm on August 23 last year claiming he was looking for a friend called Benjy.

In July, Ellwood, of Lightfoot Drive, Harraby, was on trial at Carlisle Crown Court accused of burglary with intent. He denied this allegation but was convicted after a trial and returned to court yesterday for sentencing.

The jury heard that Ellwood had gone to the Andalusian but nobody called Benjy lived there.

He was seen on CCTV tearing a strip of metal off an industrial fan on the roof near to the fire escape he used at the back of the building.

A member of staff reported suspicious activity at the back of the building to police and Ellwood was arrested.

A chip had appeared in a door that hadn’t been there earlier in the day when the staff member had returned from their break.

Nothing was stolen from the bar but Recorder John Jones QC said he believed Ellwood had gone there to steal “money or alcohol” from an upstairs bar.

Prosecutor Alan Lovett said the crime had required “some degree of planning”.

Ellwood admitted being in breach of an 18-week suspended prison sentence imposed on August 23 last year.

Recorder Jones said: “Hours before you appeared in the magistrates’ court where you were given an 18-week prison sentence suspended for 24 months for assault. Within hours of being given that sentence you were in breach of it.”

Recorder Jones imposed nine months in prison for the burglary with intent and a further 18 weeks, to run consecutively, for breaching the suspended sentence.

Ellwood was also handed a further 28 days in prison for the theft of a handbag from the Outrageous nightclub in Carlisle. This sentence will run concurrently.

He has already served 77 days on remand.

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