Mother claims her son who burgled seven homes and terrified a family is a ‘giver, not a taker’
A BUSINESSMAN who terrified families in a string of burglaries taking cars, jewellery and computer equipment has ‘always been a giver, not a taker’, a court heard.
Used car dealer Jason Hodge-Reid claimed he only went on a spate of seven burglaries after his ex-partner ran up a huge drug debt and he was threatened.
Portsmouth Crown Court heard how 33-year-old Hodge-Reid caused terror to one couple after they woke up to see him standing near their bed in their family home armed with a piece of wood.
Described in court as ‘not a career burglar’ it emerged the 33-year-old, who has 13 convictions for 24 offences, had been going from ‘strength to strength’ with a car sales and recovery firm but then faced the wrath of drug dealers.
His former partner ran up a ‘massive drug debt in his name’, his lawyer David Bathurst told Portsmouth Crown Court, with his mother threatened and the family home damaged three times.
As reported at his plea hearing, Hodge-Reid, of Highdown Drive, Wick, Littlehampton, West Sussex, claimed a hit had been taken out on him and he was brutally attacked on remand in HMP Lewes.
Now Hodge-Reid, of Highdown Drive, has been jailed for five years. He admitted three burglaries and two attempts, and asked for another two to be taken into consideration by the court.
Mr Bathurst said: ‘My client’s mother said he has always been a giver and never a taker.’
Prosecutor Timothy Moores told how in a raid on January 15 a father-of-four woke up to see Hodge-Reid ‘at the end of his bed in the bedroom’.
He added: ‘He jumped out of bed and started to chase the man. The male shouted at him noises like “bang, bang, bang” and [the victim] said he appeared to be carrying a small orange piece of wood, and as a result of that he decided to keep back.’
The victim realised his work van had been stolen along with other items and his partner’s handbag. Minibus keys belonging to the victim were also taken. A day later Hodge-Reid was arrested in Littlehampton.
Dad-of-two Hodge-Reid stole a Jaguar car worth £7,000 and medals on January 14, which were recovered. In another raid he stole £1,300 worth of jewellery.
The defendant also stole a disabled man’s computer equipment. In a statement read by Mr Moores the victim said: ‘The computers were my life line.’
Jailing Hodge-Reid, Recorder Barry McElduff said: ‘You must understand these offences are not just against things, they’re against people whose lives are deeply affected by your offending.’
Mr Bathurst, for the defendant, said: ‘His record does not show him to be a career burglar ruthlessly and heartlessly breaking into properties on a regular basis to fund his habit.’
The burglaries were carried out in 2018 and early January this year in Bognor, Littlehampton, Rustington, Angmering and Wick.
In a letter, Hodge-Reid said: ‘I did not commit these crimes out of choice, I did not mean to affect and hurt all the lives of these families.’