Jail for Portsmouth thief weeks after avoiding prison for same offence

Kieran Smith
Kieran Smith
  • Kieran Smith, of Southsea, was jailed for 16 months after committing crime while on suspended sentence
  • Court heard he stole from convenience store five weeks after last court appearance
  • The 35-year-old has 45 convictions for 111 offences - 23 of which are burglary
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A MAN has been jailed for burglary – just five weeks after getting a suspended sentence for the same crime.

Kieran Smith was sent to prison for 16 months after pleading guilty to stealing items from a convenience store.

You have re-offended so quickly that the suspended sentence should be activated and in full

Judge Ian Pearson

The theft happened five weeks after Smith was given a 12-month jail term suspended for two years after breaking into a naval club.

Portsmouth Crown Court heard that Smith had attended Victorious Festival over the August bank holiday weekend and while walking home broke into Cornucopia – a convenience store in Southsea.

He stole a backpack and nine bottles of vodka.

Prosecutor Tim Compton told the court that Smith had 45 previous convictions for 111 offences, of which 23 were burglaries.

The most recent of those was a court appearance on July 24 after he broke into the Royal Naval Club and Royal Albert Yacht Club in Old Portsmouth, in May.

As well as the suspended sentence, Smith, 35, of Earlsdon Street, Southsea, was ordered to complete a drug rehabilitation order. The court heard he had breached the order by not been attending the sessions.

Sentencing, Judge Ian Pearson said: ‘You committed this burglary after a short period of getting a suspended sentence.

‘You have also breached the terms of it.

‘This is so serious that only a custodial sentence will be justified.

‘It falls into that threshold because of your numerous previous convictions. In my view, it is not injustice to do it.’

He added: ‘You have reoffended so quickly that the suspended sentence should be activated and in full.’

Smith was sentenced to four months for the new burglary charge, which will run 
consecutively to his invoked sentence, giving a total of 16 months.

Andrew Neilson, director of campaigns at the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: ‘If someone makes mistakes again and again and they are sent to prison, many would say that they should take individual responsibility for their crimes. But we should not let this obscure the important question of whether the system itself is getting things right.

‘Are the courts and the sentencing options available to them as effective as they could be?

‘Given that people are more likely to reoffend after serving a short prison sentence than after a punishment in the community, it’s vital that services which address the root causes of crime – such as poverty, family breakdown and addiction – are widely available and properly funded.’