Burglar with drug problem avoids jail

  • Kieran Smith found near club he broke into
  • Judge hands him suspended sentence and drug rehabilitation requirement
  • He took wallet with £60 cash from Portsmouth club
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BURGLAR Kieran Smith has avoided jail after being given a chance to tackle his drug problem.

Portsmouth Crown Court heard Smith broke into the Royal Naval Club and Royal Albert Yacht Club in Old Portsmouth.

He was found after a member of staff working at the club on May 8 heard noises upstairs.

Tom Wright, prosecuting, said: ‘A member of staff heard noises from upstairs – there shouldn’t have been anyone else there.

‘He took up position in the street and was able to see a man making his way from the building, coming out of the window.’

Smith was found with a crowbar and a wallet, which had been taken from the naval club, Mr Wright added.

The £60 in the wallet had been taken out and Smith was found with £65 in his possession.

At a previous hearing city magistrates heard Smith had 108 convictions, including 37 for theft or similar offences.

Another offence of burglary was taken into consideration when he was sentenced for the raid of the club.

The club in Pembroke Road previously said it had reviewed its security since the break-in.

Simon Moger, defending, said if Smith could be free ‘of the drug habit that’s plagued him’ the high risk of reconviction would be reduced significantly.

Mr Moger added: ‘He appears motivated to do just that.’

Recorder Nicholas Atkinson QC sentenced Smith to a 12-month jail term suspended for two years.

Mr Atkinson imposed a drug rehabilitation requirement for nine months and a rehabilitation activity for 25 days.

He told Smith that he must attend meetings with probation or risk ending up in court again.

He said: ‘If that doesn’t work out you will be sentenced for everything afresh, it’s up to you isn’t it?’

Smith admitted burglary, criminal damage and possession of a class B drug at an earlier hearing.

The criminal damage related to damage in Portsmouth Central police station after Smith was arrested.

Mr Atkinson said: ‘The criminal damage was taking his anger out on a door.’

Smith, 35, of Earlsdon Street, Southsea, was found with dihydrocodeine, a class B drug.