Thursday, January 25, 2007

Eight years jail for burglar who targetted Lincs hotels...

A prolific burglar who bagged equipment worth a quarter of a million pounds from hotels around the country - including several in Lincolnshire - has been sentenced to an eight year prison sentence.

The 55-year-old man had a particular modus operandi. He approached a hotel posing as a conference organiser and asked whether they provided equipment such as laptops and projectors.

He would then make a bogus fax booking, telling the hotel that his engineer would need to check the specifications of their equipment to ensure that it is suitable and to set up for the conference.

The ‘engineer’ arrived at the hotel and was left alone to get on with his work.

Some time later, hotel staff would find that both the engineer and the equipment had disappeared.

After appearing on the national police computer, he was finally arrested in Hampshire. Officers from Lincolnshire went to Hampshire to interview him for offences in Grantham, Sleaford and Boston.

At Southampton Court, he was dealt with for 14 charges and asked for 123 offences to be taken into consideration. The total value of property from these offences was £231,000 of which some £43,600 was recovered.

The police enquiry took over nine months and involved 32 of the 43 UK police forces.

3 comments:

Liz said...

Good sentence and I do hope his ill gotten gains are seized? He should not benefit financially from his behaviour.

So some Judges are not political. I have just read on Tom Watson's blog that the Judge in North Wales who gave a suspended sentence (and by implication blamed the Home Secretary)is the brother of a Conservative Assembly member. We do not pay Judges to make political statements and every Home Secretary I have known has written to the Judiciary when prison places are low. Judges do have the power to give other than prison sentences having taken into account many factors. No Home Secrretary has ever directed what a Judge should impose - there are well established guidelines for all sentences other than those that attract a life sentence.

Sadly, the more prison places available, the more the Courts will fill them. I blame the press formuch reporting of crime - often wrongly. They increase the public's fear and incorrectly state that our sentencing policy is lenient.

I have gone on - but I am cross at the ill informed media and political judges.

Brynley said...

Liz:

1. The North Wales judge's brother's politics are surely irrelevant.

2. The North Wales judge's comments as reported seem to be balanced and sensible.

3. Yes, parts of the media have been on a Bang 'em Up frenzy, but it has been pretty much the default position of Express/Mail/Sun/Star for as long as anyone can remember.

4. The Labour leadership have added to the problem by taking up the Prison Works! hue and cry from Michael Howard and for pedalling the strict prohibitionist nonsense about drugs.

5. Who do we want in prison? Violent criminals and also persistant offenders, that's who.

6. Our prisons are full of drug addicts, our imprisonment rate is higher than other rich social democratic nations, we imprison children alongside adults which is a desperate failure.

Liz said...

Brynley,

Sadly we do not know all the details of the case, the risk the offender presents, psychiatric/social reports available to the Judge. The Judge can be appealed by the defence or CPS so his sentence was within guidelines. Sadly, I do believe that if they are miffed (they are with the Home Office) or politically motivated then they will use anything to make their point - in an articulate manner of course! Impartial partiality!

I totally agree with you that we lock up too many people and the more prison places available the more we need. It seems to me that we need to remove many crimes from the custodial threshold, non payment of council tax etc. Drug offenders are difficult to deal with. There are resources available for addicts in the community at a great cost to the taxpayer. NICE have also reported today that they are considering giving tokens of amounts up to £10 for those addicts who give a clear urine sample! Being an addict should not mitigate against the seriousness of what you do. Many addicts are not violent - many are so individual justice matters in such cases rather than prescribed sentencing such as that in the US.

I wholeheartedly agree with you about children being in adult prisons. We may need to revisit the age barrier at some time though.

I just wish that everybody thought more about the cost of locking those people up who do not pose a serious risk. John Reid stated that it cost £100,000 (overheads)for each prison place and £40,000 for each individual. An awful lot of taxpayers money and so many interests at stake - all of those working within the system and each with their own perspective.

Regards..