Bungling trio failed in raid on cash machine
BUNGLING raiders failed to break into a bank cash machine.
The hooded trio forced their way into the Whitchurch Halifax in the early hours and set about the ATM with cutting gear, Bristol Crown Court was told.
After causing £9,000 damage the flummoxed three left empty-handed, but police found John Clouter's blood on the inside of forced roller shutters.
Clouter was arrested and claimed he had walked by the scene, tripped over and cut his knee on broken glass. When police told him his blood was inside the premises he exercised his right to silence, the court heard.
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The 28-year-old, of Willoughby Close, Headley Park, pleaded guilty to burglary.
Mr Justice Field gave him a year's jail, suspended for two years, with two years of supervision and a six- month drug rehabilitation requirement.
The judge told him: "If you squander this opportunity there won't be a second chance."
Peter Coombe, prosecuting, said at around 3.30am on September 13 the Halifax intruder alarm activated and police arrived on the scene in three minutes. He said: "The roller shutters were forced open, the window was broken and when police went inside they saw the back of the ATM had been damaged."
Mr Coombe said the machine had been filled with £50,000 two days earlier.
Timothy Rose, defending, said: "Mr Clouter's commitment to drug rehabilitation is evidenced by persistent negative testing."
He said Clouter's offending had slowed in recent years and he was trying to stay out of trouble.