Former drug addict acted as 'look-out' in Penkhull burglary
BURGLAR Lee Bartlett has avoided a prison sentence after a recent change in the law.
The 40-year-old acted as a lookout for an accomplice who burgled a house in Penkhull on September 27.
Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court yesterday heard the victim, a teacher, left her mid terrace property in Weston Street at 7.14am and was alerted at 4.40pm that she had been the victim of a burglary.
Prosecutor Fiona Cortese said the teacher returned to find a double-glazed pane of glass removed from a kitchen window.
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She then discovered items missing from her house including two laptops, an iPod, jewellery box, jewellery and a money box.
In total the goods were valued at about £1,200. And the cost of repairing the window was £20.
Scenes of crime officers attended and took swabs which were analysed and found to match the defendant's DNA.
Bartlett was arrested in October. Initially he answered no comment to all questions.
But when the DNA evidence was put to him he said he had been there and removed the window for someone else. He would not name the other person through fear. He added that at the time he had been taking diazepam.
Bartlett, of Hill Green Road, Sandford Hill, pleaded guilty to burglary.
The court heard he has 19 convictions for 47 offences – including 12 burglaries.
But he has not offended since 2008 and has made efforts to turn his life around.
The court heard Bartlett has also been able to recover the stolen property.
Judge Paul Glenn said because of the mitigation he was able to implement the minimum sentencing provisions, which as of December 3 allowed him to make a suspended sentence order.
He sentenced Bartlett to two years in prison, suspended for two years, with two years supervision, 200 hours unpaid work and a three month electronically-monitored curfew from 7pm to 7am.
Judge Glenn told the defendant: "This was a daytime burglary when the house was unoccupied, plainly you were with someone else.
"Items were taken of significant value.
"When people lose their laptop it causes them huge inconvenience, particularly when it is a teacher as in this case."
The judge said Bartlett was a prolific offender up to 2008 but has plainly made 'enormous' efforts to turn his life around since his last sentence.
"Someone who has had a serious heroin addiction, as you did, and keeps out of trouble for four years and off drugs,shows you are trying hard," Judge Glenn said.
"You are a far more responsible person than you were. That is best illustrated by the steps you have taken to recover the stolen property."
Judge Glenn said he will review Bartlett's progress in three months, and warned him: "Breach any of the requirements and your feet won't touch the floor."