‘Pathetic’ burglar sent to prison for terrifying Portsmouth pub landlord in raid

Harjas Kalsi was jailed at Portsmouth Crown Court for burglary
Harjas Kalsi was jailed at Portsmouth Crown Court for burglary
Have your say

A GRAPHIC designer who went on a ‘non-stop’ burglary spree has been jailed after breaking into a pub.

Harjas Kalsi shattered windows at the Portsbridge pub, in Portsmouth Road, Cosham, forcing the landlord to hide behind the bar with a baseball bat.

Portsmouth Crown Court heard how Kalsi smashed the windows, then forced open a door just as the landlord was finishing up paperwork at 12.30am.

Prosecutor Simon Foster said police were called and Kalsi was found in the pub kitchen and arrested in the early hours of May 1.

The court heard Kalsi, 42, of Locksway Road, Milton, had carried out burglaries in 2016, 2017 and earlier this year.

Howard Barrington-Clark, for Kalsi, admitted his client had become a ‘non-stop burglar for the last two years’.

He had previously burgled Gatcombe Park Primary School, the court heard.

Kalsi had started offending again in 2016 after the death of his father. He started taking drugs and drinking, losing his graphic design business and home.

Jailing Kalsi for a year, Judge David Melville QC said: ‘You simply decided to break into the pub and steal what you could find.

‘This follows an unsuccessful overdose earlier in the day.

‘The landlord was finishing off his work at midnight in the morning of May 1 when you broke in, smashing a number of windows, causing him to be terrified and causing him to hide with a baseball bat hoping he didn’t have to defend himself.

‘He had the wit to call 999 – they attended.’

Kalsi, who has 28 offences over 10 convictions, carried out a burglary in 2016, three in 2017 and one in March 2018.

He admitted burgling the pub, with the judge reducing an 18-month term to a year.

Mitigating, Mr Barrington-Clark said Kalsi, who has a master’s degree, had told him: ‘I don’t care if I go to prison, at least I’m safe.’

He added: ‘It really is quite pathetic in some respects, particularly in light of his education and brain.’

He added there had been a gap in his past offending prior to 2016 but that ended when he entered a ‘downward spiral’ following his father’s death.