AN ‘idiot’ burglar who locked himself in his getaway car was thrown behind bars for his latest raid on a house – taking his lifetime jail tally to 25 years.
Judge Robert Hill told ‘professional burglar’ Barry Close he imagined the defendant would spend the ‘rest of his life in and out of prison’ after sending him down for three years and four months at Portsmouth Crown Court.
Thirty-eight year old Close, of Hove Court, Lee-on-the-Solent, has already spent over half of his life inside having served just over 21 years in prison for burglary offences.
The court heard his latest burglary with an accomplice saw him return to the scene of a previous invasion on the same house five years ago.
Breaking into the home in Palmerston Way in Gosport after using a tool to force a window open, Close and his partner in crime set about ransacking the place while the occupiers were asleep upstairs.
The thieving duo stole up to £12,000 worth of gold and silver items – including cutlery, a candlestick and coins – before they fled.
‘The homeowner was awoken by the alarm sounding and went to check the house when he found silver items belonging to him in a bag not in the right place before realising he had been burgled,’ prosecutor Paul Farley said.
Close was caught a short time later after a police patrol car had seen a vehicle ‘overshoot’ a give way sign before the officer searched for the car.
‘The policeman found the defendant in the back of the car hiding. The silver and gold items were also found in the car while the other man was found in a garden nearby,’ Mr Farley said.
‘All the property that was stolen was recovered. A policeman confirmed the defendant had committed a burglary at the same address five years before when there was a different occupier.’
In defence, Howard Barrington-Clark stuck the boot into his client. ‘The incompetence shown was incredible – he managed to lock himself in the back of his getaway car. That shows his idiocy,’ he said.
Judge Hill said it was a planned burglary with ‘high rewards’, before adding: ‘This is the fifth occasion where you have been sent to jail for three years or more now. I can’t imagine you’re going to do anything else but be in and out of prison for the rest of your life unless you do something to change things.’