Drunk burglar who stole TV from unwell Portsmouth woman jailed

Paul John, who has been jailed for stealing a television
Paul John, who has been jailed for stealing a television

Roof-running louts reported in Cowplain

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A BURGLAR who stole a television from the home of an unwell woman has been jailed.

Paul John was spotted carrying ‘something heavy’ outside the home in Military Road, Hilsea, by a neighbour.

The resident had moved out after becoming unwell and having to live in a care home.

Portsmouth Crown Court heard the resident still had all her possessions in her former home while she was away.

Matthew Lawson, prosecuting, said neighbours saw a man carrying the TV on June 30 this year at about 5pm.

‘The man walked off and the neighbour who had seen this was suspicious and rang the police,’ he said.

‘The defendant attended a shop called Cash Converters, which is nearby.’

The shopkeeper noticed John was ‘worse for wear’ and seemed to have been drinking when he brought in the Panasonic flatscreen TV but gave him £70 for the item.

Detectives later viewed CCTV, arrested John and interviewed him on July 4.

John has 17 convictions for 47 offences, including multiple burglaries.

DNA found on a broken window at the house linked John to the burglary and he was charged. He admitted burglary in court.

The court heard John had taken valium and alcohol. He is disgusted with himself but motivated to make good, his lawyer told the court.

Sentencing, Recorder Paul Garlick QC said: ‘Your learned counsel has just persuaded me that in your case there are particular circumstances relating to you at the time you committed this offence, which in my view make it unjust to sentence you to the minimum term of three years.

‘This is probably the last court appearance when any judge will be willing to depart from the minimum sentence.

‘Your sentences are just going to get longer and longer.’

The judge jailed John for two years. John said ‘cheers’ as the judge passed sentence.

Mr Garlick warned him not to burgle anyone else.

‘I’m not going to do that, don’t worry about that,’ John said from the dock before he was led down.