Judge jails “persistent” burglar to help Ipswich public to “feel safe”

Michael Harvey, who was described as a persistent burglar in court, has been jailed. Picture: SUFFOL

Michael Harvey, who was described as a persistent burglar in court, has been jailed. Picture: SUFFOLK POLICE - Credit: Suffolk police

A judge has jailed a “persistent” burglar for 54 months to help the residents of Ipswich to “feel safe” from his offending.

Sentencing Michael Harvey, Judge Rupert Overbury said the latest offences were the fifth time he had been sentenced for house burglaries since 1999.

“The time has come for a deterrent sentence to be passed which will allow people living in the Ipswich area to feel safe from you for some time to come,” said the judge.

“You have a complete disregard for sentences implemented by courts and you were on licence at the time of these offences,” said the judge.

Harvey, 39 and of no fixed address, had denied attempted burglary at a house in Burlington Road, Ipswich, on October 23, burglary at a house in Belstead Road, Ipswich, on October 24 during which a wallet was stolen and burglary at a house in Handford Road, Ipswich, on November 1, during which items including a guitar, a rucksack and a laptop computer were stolen.

He was convicted of the attempted burglary in Burlington Road and the burglary in Belstead Road but cleared of the Handford Road burglary.

However, the court heard that he had already pleaded guilty to handling items stolen during that burglary.

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The court heard that in 2013 Harvey received a three year jail sentence for a house burglary and in 2016 he was jailed for 38 months for another house burglary.

During Harvey’s three day trial the court heard that police officers stopped him in Handford Road on November 1 and found a laptop computer, that had been stolen in a burglary from a house in Handford Road earlier that day, in a bag he was carrying.

The trainers he was wearing when he was arrested matched three sets of footwear lifts taken by police at the scene of a burglary the previous week in Belstead Road, said Russell Butcher, prosecuting.

Lynne Shirley, representing Harvey, said her client had a long standing history of drug use and needed help to stop the cycle of offending.

“He is released from prison without anywhere to live and then comes back through the revolving door again,” said Miss Shirley.

She said her client had spent 10 months in custody on remand.

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