Drugs-binge burglar spared jail despite his 'appalling' break-in
A DRUGGED-up burglar was spared prison after handing himself in for his "appalling" crime and saying sorry to his victims.
Homeless Emrys Crocker was on a five-day crack-cocaine and drinking binge when he broke into a student house on Muller Avenue, Ashley Down.
The 30-year-old, who used to be a successful chef, ransacked the house and stole thousands of pounds' worth of cherished belongings, Bristol Crown Court heard.
Prosecuting, David Hunter said the offence happened on November 24. The three-storey house was lived in by four students and the front door was locked at 9.10am after they all went out for the day.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
The court heard Crocker left an "unsightly mess" as he searched every room before taking his haul and getting a lift with a man in a van, whom he apparently didn't know.
When a female student who lived there returned at 3pm, she found the front door open and that the house had been burgled.
Crocker was identified from fingerprints and DNA, but before that he had already handed himself in at a police station, admitting what he had done.
He told officers he could not remember the address or how he got in, but said he dumped some of the stolen goods in bins around Easton and sold on jewellery, a computer hard drive, flight case and other bags to someone he refused to name for £120.
He left CDs, including disks containing photographs, with a friend and had intended to collect them but also refused to name him.
Crocker admitted burglary and wrote letters of apology to his victims and Mr Recorder Oba Nsugbe expressing his remorse.
He had one previous conviction for burglary, of a non-dwelling.
Mitigating, Timothy Hills said: "He realised, when he came round from his binge, that what he had done was absolutely disgraceful."
Mr Hills told the court his client had been forced to leave home aged 13 and had got into class A drugs from that age. He had been a successful chef, working at a well-known restaurant on Whiteladies' Road, Clifton, and then for a national restaurant chain. But he was addicted to class A drugs and they were ultimately his undoing.
Mr Nsugbe described the burglary as "appalling", saying: "It causes distress, insecurity and a real sense of loss."
He sentenced Crocker to a one-year prison sentence, suspended for two years. Crocker will be under probation supervision for a year and subject to drug rehabilitation for six months, including twice-weekly testing. He must also pay £1,365 compensation to one of his victims.
Mr Nsugbe warned: "I'm giving you a chance. Do you appreciate that? It's very much up to you."