Ipswich: Former jockey jailed for burglaries at private home and a Christian outreach centre

Patrick O'Hara

Patrick O'Hara - Credit: Archant

A former jockey whose promising career was ended by injury has been jailed for 30 months after admitting two burglaries in Ipswich town centre.

Patrick O’Hara, 38, of London Road, Ipswich, admitted burglary with intent to steal at a house in Lower Brook Street and at the Key Christian Outreach Centre in St Margaret’s Plain. Both offences happened on March 9 this year.

Lynne Shirley, prosecuting, said the occupants of the property in Lower Brook Street were at home at around 8.30pm when they heard a banging noise followed by the sound of breaking glass.

One of them shouted: “Who’s there?” and contacted the police who arrived nine minutes later and discovered a broken pane of glass in a window at the side of the house.

Nothing had been stolen from the property, said Miss Shirley.

On the same evening police contacted a member of staff at the Key Outreach Centre to notify them of a burglary.

A window had been smashed at the premises but nothing had been stolen.

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After his arrest O’Hara said he thought the premises in Lower Brook Street were part of a beauty salon and not a dwelling house.

He said he had fled from the Key Centre after the alarm was activated. He said he had been looking for cash when he broke into both premises.

Neil Saunders for O’Hara said his client had a promising career as a jockey until he was injured at the age if 19.

He had got into bad company and had become addicted to cocaine.

Jailing O’Hara Judge David Goodin said that as he had previous offences for house burglaries he was subject to a minimum prison term of three years which could be reduced to 30 months with credit for his guilty pleas.