A Leamington youth who became a ‘third strike’ burglar with a break-in carried out in Rugby just ten days after his 18th birthday has been jailed for more than three years.
Callum Taylor pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to the burglary, committed while he was on bail for an earlier burglary which he had already admitted.
Taylor, 18, of Binswood Avenue, was jailed for a total of three years and two months.
Prosecutor Tariq Shakoor said that in May there was a break-in at a bungalow in Falstaff Drive, Bilton, Rugby, while the owners were on holiday in Wales.
A neighbour had noticed a motorbike parked at the side of the rear garden, with Taylor, wearing a helmet and a scarf across his face, sitting astride it with the engine running.
Another man approached Taylor who moved away to a play area before returning to the bungalow where the other man climbed the fence into the garden and broke in.
He stole jewellery and watches before returning to the motorbike, and he and Taylor rode away, and although the neighbour had made a note of the registration, it was a false number plate.
But Taylor, who had 16 convictions for 37 offences, including a number of burglaries, was identified from a CCTV camera in the park.
When he was arrested the following day he denied the offence, claiming he was present but had not been involved, and he was given bail.
Then on June 9, ten days after his 18th birthday, Taylor and another person carried out a burglary at a couple’s bungalow in Beswick Gardens, Rugby.
He knew the couple were on holiday at the time because their two daughters were ‘house-sitting’ for some of the time, and had had some people round, including his brother.
The burglars escaped in a car driven by a female with about £800 worth of Turkish lira, jewellery, including a baby teeth keepsake, and a handbag and contents – although Taylor said he was not responsible for taking the bag.
Mr Shakoor pointed out that following his arrest, after initially denying taking part, Taylor suggested where the keepsake might be, but the police were unable to find it when they searched the area.
Both offences were within weeks of Taylor’s release from his last custodial sentence, but the second one was significant because it was after his 18th birthday.
In law, an offender can only be dealt with as a ‘third strike’ burglar if they are 18 or over at the time of committing the third offence.
Because Taylor fell within those provisions by ten days, he was facing a minimum of three years for that burglary, before being given a discount for his plea.
Taylor, appearing via a video link from YOI Brinsford, read out a letter to the judge in which he said that when he was released in April ‘I told myself for a long time that I wouldn’t let myself fall back into committing crime.’
He had applied for and been offered a job, and was feeling proud of himself, but was living in shared accommodation and got drawn back into offending.
He added that he had got a job in custody and wants to improve himself while he is inside and turn his life round when he is finally released.
Sentencing Taylor, Judge Anthony Potter told him: “You have proved yourself to be a habitual thief in the past who feels no reservations about entering people’s homes to steal their possessions.
“It was a matter of just six weeks or so after you had been released from custody that you began offending again.
“Having been arrested and interviewed, you did not stay on the straight and narrow. Instead, you went out and just a matter of days later committed another burglary.”
Sentencing Taylor to nine months for the first burglary, with a ‘third strike’ sentence of two years and five months for the second, the judge added: “The fact that you were on bail for the second one demands consecutive sentences.”