Hayling Island burglar avoids jail after stealing from £2m house

A VICTIM whose repossessed house was burgled said it was ‘disgraceful’ the criminal was let off with a suspended sentence after there was no one from the crown to prosecute the case due to snow.

Saturday, 2nd February 2019, 4:45 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 8:30 pm
Picture: Ian Nicholson/PA Wire

The man, who does not want to be named after more than £10,000 worth of items were stolen from his former £2m house in Hayling Island while receivers were planning on selling it, said the sentence could have been different.

He told The News outside court that burglar Alexander Everett might have got jail if there had been a representative from the crown at Portsmouth Crown Court.

Instead, only Daniel Reilly, for the defence, was present to offer details of the case that was being heard by recorder Michael Vere-Hodge QC – who admitted it was an ‘unusual situation’ to have no prosecutor ‘due to bad weather’.

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Picture: Ian Nicholson/PA Wire

After 50-year-old Everett, of Ashford Close, Hayling Island, walked free from court after being sentenced to 12 months jail suspended for two years, the victim  turned and shouted: ‘He’s had you all.’

Outside court, the man said: ‘I’m so angry about all this. It is a disgrace there was no prosecutor here for the case. He might have been sent to jail if there was someone here from the prosecution. I don’t understand how they could go ahead without one.’

After Mr Vere-Hodge decided to proceed with the case having decided he had enough information, Mr Reilly explained how the burglary was a moment of opportunism from Everett, who knew the house was unoccupied.

‘The house was due for repossession and in the hands of receivers and due to be sold at auction,’ he said.

‘A number of items were taken including two sofas, which were the most significant items. None of the items were recovered. They were made available for sale on social media, which is how the police came to arrest Mr Everett.’

Mr Reilly said Everett had a history of offending, especially for theft and burglary offences and had served 46 months in jail after being convicted in 2013 for such matters.

But since that point, he had only committed one minor theft and was making a ‘concerted effort to turn his back on his past’. He was also said to be the sole carer of his three children – a daughter who had aspirations to study medicine and a son who is on the books of Pompey.

Everett, in a letter, said he regretted his actions after falling to temptation while working at the house doing van repair work.

Judge Vere-Hodge spared Everett jail after believing he was ‘trying to put a life of crime behind him’ and because of his vital role in the upbringing of his children.

As well as the suspended term, Everett, who admitted one count of burglary, was also told to complete 80 hours of unpaid work, attend 25 rehabilitation days and pay compensation of £3,000.