Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Burglar given life-time ban from going near bicycles unless he can prove he owns them

A burglar has been jailed after a judge told a court he stole “anything that was not bolted down”. Heroin addict John Liddicoat has been locked up for three and a half years and banned from having a bicycle, unless he can prove ownership. He also cannot go within four metres of a bike rack under a Criminal Behaviour Order. Plymouth Crown Court heard he had 48 convictions for 142 offences, including many thefts of bicycles and several burglaries.

Judge Ian Lawrie said: “He has a tendency to take anything which is not bolted down.” He told the 47-year-old: “You have an appalling record, you are incapable of behaving yourself and you have not learnt your lesson.” Liddicoat, of no fixed address, appeared over the videolink from Exeter Prison to admit burglary on December 18. Piers Norsworthy, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said that he targeted a garage attached to a house in Mutley Plain, Plymouth, Devon. He added that the resident said he took 20 bottles of wine she was saving for Christmas.

Mr Norsworthy said the garage door was locked but someone used a tool to force the lock. He added: “Because she felt so vulnerable, she replaced the garage door at a cost of £5,272”. The court heard that a partial match to the defendant’s DNA was found in the garage and he admitted the offence in police interview. Mr Norsworthy said he admitted taking only three bottles of wine. Michael Green, for Liddicoat, said the garage door had been left insecure. He said: “He has struggled with a heroin addiction for something like 28 years.” Mr Green said he had relapsed into using the drug after the break-up of a relationship.

The court heard that Liddicoat faced a minimum of three years in jail, minus a discount for guilty plea, because he has at least three convictions for domestic burglary. Judge Lawrie said that courts had tried every alternative to prison, but each of those sentences had failed. He also passed an indefinite Criminal Behaviour Order which makes it an offence for Liddicoat to have a bicycle he cannot prove he owns. He cannot go within four metres of a bike rack nor enter the University of Plymouth or any school or college, the scenes of previous thefts. The defendant could face a sentence of five years in prison if he breaches the order.

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