Gosport burglar who was found hiding behind hedge after break-in appears in court

A man who hid behind a hedge after a burglary while one of his accomplices locked himself in the getaway car has been sentenced.

Thursday, 30th January 2020, 4:06 pm
Updated Friday, 31st January 2020, 12:56 pm

Gordon Briggs, 41, was arrested on Palmerston Way, Gosport, on 19 October 2018 after thousands of pounds worth of silverware was found in his Volkwagen Golf by passing police officers.

The goods had been stolen from a house in the same street in the early hours of that morning, in a burglary committed by 39-year-old Barry Close and 57-year-old Nick Stock.

Police were called at 2.27am when the victims were awakened by their burglar alarm and noticed their silverware was missing.

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The burglars have appeared in court

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Officers were already patrolling in the area when they came across the black Volkswagen Golf which was occupied by the culprits.

PC Nick Jackson, from Hampshire Constabulary’s Operation Hawk team, said: ‘The vehicle pulled out of Jellicoe Avenue and was around 250 metres from the address that had been burgled. The Golf appeared as if it was going to pull straight out, but stopped on seeing police before reversing out of sight.

‘Officers went to Jellicoe Avenue, and then onto Palmerston Way where they saw the Golf parked up just inside the road facing the police car. On looking into the Golf they saw a number of silver items in the front passenger foot well, including silver candlestick holders.

‘Briggs was found hiding behind a hedge, before the alarm of the Golf went off, prompting one of the officers to go back and take another look. Barry Close, who was hiding in the back, was locked inside.’

Both men were arrested while Nick Stock, who had left, was later identified through forensic work.

Close was charged with burglary and was jailed on November 16, 2018 for 40 months, after admitting the offence at Portsmouth Crown Court.

Stock, of Hamble Road in Gosport, was found guilty of burglary in his absence following a trial in September 2019, and was jailed for five years on 11 October 2019.

Briggs, of Tukes Avenue in Gosport, admitted handling stolen goods at Portsmouth Crown Court on January 15 this year.

Today Briggs, of Tukes Avenue in Gosport, was handed a 14-month sentence, suspended for 18 months, with 15 Rehabilitation Activity Requirement days and a two-month curfew.

Following the sentencing, PC Jackson said: ‘This was a lengthy process bringing all three of these men to justice, but I hope the community are reassured that we take these offences seriously.

‘Their attempts to evade capture at the scene and deny their involvement did them no favours and I am pleased that this case has now come to a conclusion.’