Bumbling burglar jailed after climbing on roof in Wrexham bakery break-in

Bumbling burglar jailed after climbing on roof in Wrexham bakery break-in

A drunken man who broke into a town centre bakery and then clambered onto the roof after he was spotted has been jailed.

Richard Lee Watson, 27, had been on what he told police was a “drinking spree” before he kicked the glass door at Gerard’s Bakery on Queens Square, Wrexham in the early hours of May 11 and went in to steal money.

Rhian Jackson, prosecuting at Wrexham Magistrates Court, said Andrew Shone, who was in the Hwb Cymraeg festival tent, heard noises and went to investigate after informing council CCTV operators.

Mr Shone saw that a panel on the glass door had been smashed and called the police.

He then saw a man walking along an aisle and shouted at him, asking what he was doing and to come out.

The man, later identified as Watson, ran to the back of the shop, kicked a wooden door and left the shop as the police arrived.

Mr Shone heard footsteps over the veranda covering several shops and then saw Watson on the roof.

A police officer at the scene said Watson eventually came down after having a cigarette.

He told an officer he was “bang to rights” and that “I’m a robber, you’re a copper”, the court heard.

Watson, of Bridge Street, Wrexham, added he was “going down” for the break-in and he had fallen on hard times.

No money was taken but the lower window of the front door was smashed, along with a wooden panel on the internal door.

Watson told police in interview that he had been on a “drinking spree” with his brother and friends and had also taken cocaine, Miss Jackson said.

He tested positive for the drug at the police station, magistrates heard.

He kicked the door to get into the shop and steal money, which he would have done but did not have time.

Watson also admitted kicking the internal door and going onto the veranda to escape.

It was a “stupid thing to do”, he told officers, and apologised for his actions. Magistrates heard that Watson had 33 convictions for 70 offences, 22 of which were for theft.

He had two convictions for burglary and theft (non dwelling) including an eight-month prison sentence in 2016.

He had gone equipped for theft, Miss Jackson added, in that he was wearing gloves and had his hood up over his face.

Watson pleaded guilty at the hearing to burglary (other than dwelling) with intent to steal.

Justine McVitie, defending, said Watson had been out with his brother and had not intended to steal when he went out.

It was an opportunistic offence after consuming alcohol and he had not targeted the shop in any way, she added.

Watson, a window fitter by trade, had fallen on hard times as work had dried up and he was not on benefits.

He had no money and that was the reason why the offence was committed, Miss McVitie said.

Watson had panicked, gone on the roof, but he came down and had made a full admission.

He also expressed genuine remorse for his crime when interviewed, Miss McVitie said.

She added Watson was in a precarious position as he was in breach of a six-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, imposed in April for criminal damage.

Miss McVitie told the court that Watson had “not complied particularly well” with an unpaid work order imposed as part of the sentence, and his probation officer had been concerned about his motivation and “low mood”.

The probation service said it was likely magistrates would activate the sentence, Miss McVitie added, but Watson was suitable for a more onerous suspended sentence with a thinking skills programme and a rehabilitation order.

If offered such an opportunity Watson would “comply to the best of his ability”, Miss McVitie added, but asked magistrates to keep any sentence to a minimum if they were to put him in custody.

Magistrates activated the six week sentence and added a further 12 weeks, to be served consecutively.

The new sentence had been reduced from 18 weeks due to his guilty plea.

Catherine Wantling, chairman of the bench, told Watson that he had gone equipped for theft and had taken drugs and alcohol.

Nothing was stolen but the doors had been damaged, she added.

The burglary was committed soon after the suspended sentence was imposed and he had “not complied with probation at all”.

He must also pay a £115 surcharge.

See full story in the Leader

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