Jail term for copper thief, 37

IPSWICH: A man who broke into the old County Hall building in St Helen’s Street has been jailed for a total of 40 weeks.

Gregory Branaghan, 37, of Marigold Avenue, Ipswich, had denied burglary with intent to steal at the former Suffolk County Council headquarters but was found guilty after a trial. Sentence had been adjourned for reports.

Branaghan was also before the court for sentence for breaching an eight-week suspended prison sentence, failing to answer bail, two offences of breaching a restraining order and resisting arrest.

The court heard that police had gone to the old County Hall building, which is now unoccupied and derelict, after reports of banging inside on August 31 last year. They detained two men including Branaghan who told officers he had gone into the building to smoke cannabis and wasn’t intending to steal anything.

The court heard that the other man, Daniel Turner, had admitted burglary with intent to steal and been given a curfew order.

The offences relating to breach of a restraining order happened when Branaghan went to the home of a woman in Kipling Road after he was banned by a court from going there.

Branaghan had turned up at the house at around 10.30pm on October 29 and had been let in. The following morning Branaghan had gone back to the house at 7am and had tried to get the woman’s attention because he had left something there the night before.

Most Read

Police were called and when they arrived Branaghan tried to escape but was caught in a neighbouring garden. He then resisted arrest. Roger Thompson, for Branaghan, said his client was “sick and tired” of the life he was leading and wanted to sort himself out.

Mr Thompson said Branaghan had drink and drug problems for a number of years but had been seeking help during the 57 days he had been in custody.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter