Burglar jailed after night raid

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A persistent Mansfield burglar was jailed for four years after a late night raid on a house during which he took a £10,000 Volkswagen Golf.

The car owner slept through the raid in Ripley on 20th July and woke to find the car missing from the drive.

A court heard how Christopher Whitbread (38), of Titchfield Street, had a long criminal record including three earlier burglaries and 25 cases of driving while disqualified.

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Siward James-Moore, prosecuting, told the court how that night Ripley police stopped Whitbread and homeless Lee Goody (26), but had no reason to detain them.

But Whitbread was stopped the following night at the wheel of the Volkswagen in Lincolnshire, where it set off a series of police cameras which check vehicle number plates.

He admitted burglary, theft of a vehicle, driving while disqualified and without insurance.

The victim’s bank card was used four times within hours of the burglary and £600 was taken from the account.

A laptop and wallet were also taken.

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Sarah Brown, defending Whitbread, said he battled with drug problems and spent regular spells in prison.

“In the recent past, there has been a pattern of reoffending and release.

“There has been a lack of support and assistance on release which has led him into an easy spiral of reoffending,” added Miss Brown.

Balraj Bhatia, defending Goody, told the court:”He is in an awful spiral of custody, release, no fixed address, no sense of stability.”

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While awaiting sentence, he had been in custody and able to “wean himself off heroin.”

Recorder Sarah Wright pointed out that Whitbread had three earlier burglaries on his record which meant he faced custody of at least three years.

“You have a substantial record of offences including dishonesty, theft and handling as well as burglary,” she added.

Goody got eight months’ prison after pleading guilty to handling stolen goods.