Judge tells crying burglar to 'stop snivelling' as he sends him to jail for breaking into a young Wellesbourne couple’s new home in the middle of the night

"You did this to those people, and today you’re going to pay for it,” said the judge

Friday, 23rd July 2021, 8:59 am
Updated Friday, 23rd July 2021, 9:02 am

A burglar began crying when he realised a judge was not prepared to suspend his sentence for breaking into a young Wellesbourne couple’s new home in the middle of the night.

And as Judge Peter Cooke read out part of the couple’s statement, he snapped at Brendan Bagley: “Stop snivelling. You did this to those people, and today you’re going to pay for it.”

Bagley (23) of Hawker Close, Coventry, was jailed for two years and eight months after finally pleading guilty to the burglary on the day of his trial at Warwick Crown Court.

Brendan Bagley

Prosecutor Ravi Sidhu said that in July last year a young couple were asleep at their home in Wellesbourne when the house was broken into during the night.

The keys to their Seat Leon were taken, and the car was then stolen from outside the house.

When Bagley was found in the car in Brinklow two weeks later, his fingerprints were found on the rear of the false number plates which were on it by then.

And an analysis of his phone showed it had been in the area of the burgled house when it had been switched off at around the time of the break-in.

But Bagley denied having been involved in the burglary or taking the car, claiming he had had a lift from someone, and had got into the car not suspecting it had been stolen.

Mr Sidhu added that Bagley had 16 previous convictions for 32 offences, including a dwelling house burglary.

Daren Samat, defending, said: “He’s pretty nervous, and rightly so. But at the end of this mitigation Your Honour may see a degree of hope for this defendant which could lead to him not going immediately to custody.”

But Judge Cooke, who said there had been ‘a significant degree of planning to make an 18-mile nocturnal journey’ to carry out the raid, remarked: “I wouldn’t hold out much hope for that.”

Mr Samat continued: “At the time this took place he was in a different place to where he is now. There are steps he has taken in his life which I hope will persuade Your Honour he may be worth a risk.

“Because of his dependency on drugs he had a debt and was at risk of exposing himself to the criminality of others, and he put his own needs above others to discharge that debt.

“He was being made to commit offences. He was being put to work by the people he owed the drug debt to. He had been required to take part in this enterprise and drive the car away, and then put to work to pay off the rest of the debt of £800.

“In the last two years he has been trying to turn his life around. Albeit late in the day, his guilty plea is perhaps the best mitigation he has.

“A stabilising feature has been his partner, who is in the public gallery. Your Honour could give him the opportunity to serve the sentence in the community,” Mr Samat added.

But Judge Cooke told Bagley: “There is no earthly way I can suspend the sentence.

“You involved yourself in making an 18-mile nocturnal journey to Wellesbourne, and there you were involved in the violation of a young couple’s home.”

He referred to part of the man’s statement in which he said: “At the time of the burglary my partner was heavily pregnant.

“We had just bought the house. We had only lived there for eight months. The impact on my partner has been tremendous.”

And as Bagley’s crying interrupted him, Judge Cooke snapped: “Stop snivelling. You did this to those people, and today you’re going to pay for it.

“You might like to think about how you would feel if somebody else had put your partner in that situation.

“If you violate someone’s home in the middle of the night, whether the woman is pregnant or not, it is profoundly unsettling for them.”