Pub burglar jailed for 5 years
AN Ipswich burglar has today begun a five-year jail sentence after stealing nearly £2,000 from a pub where the licensee was sleeping.Jurors at Ipswich Crown Court also found Vincent Bennett, 30, of London Road, guilty of perverting the course of justice by threatening a witness.
AN Ipswich burglar has today begun a five-year jail sentence after stealing nearly £2,000 from a pub where the licensee was sleeping.
Jurors at Ipswich Crown Court also found Vincent Bennett, 30, of London Road, guilty of perverting the course of justice by threatening a witness.
The court heard that Bennett broke a window to get into the Kingfisher pub in Hawthorn Drive in January.
Bennett then went upstairs to the flat where licensee Mr Lovett slept in his bedroom, with the cash ready to be banked next to him on a table.
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While Mr Lovett slept, Bennett went into the bedroom and stole the cash – a total of £1,989.
Four months later, Bennett sent a witness, Sandra Reid, a letter saying: "I will leave you and your family alone if you change your story."
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Mrs Reid was told if she did not, "she would not live to go to court."
The court heard that Bennett had a previous record for theft, burglary and violence spanning 13 years and had been in and out of prison on many occasions.
Matthew McNiff, mitigating, said his client accepted the jury's verdicts but was afraid of becoming institutionalised.
Judge John Holt said Bennett stole the pub's CCTV tape to remove evidence. "You have appalling record, a persistent record for burglaries and there is a theme of violence which was probably known by Sandra Reid," said Judge Holt.
Bennett was jailed for three years for burglary, one year for perverting the course of justice and told to serve a further year, which remained from a previous sentence for which he was on licence when he committed the burglary.