Brownsover man conspired to steal from friend - The Rugby Observer

Brownsover man conspired to steal from friend

Rugby Editorial 13th Nov, 2014 Updated: 27th Oct, 2016   0

A YOUNG man who set up a burglary at a friend’s home so he could get hold of his gas-powered air-pistol was photographed posing with it just 90 minutes after the raid.

It was that picture, which was posted on the internet, which proved Daniel Dempsey was lying when he claimed he had bought it innocently some time later.

And at Warwick Crown Court, after pleading not guilty to burglary, on the day of his trial Dempsey admitted a charge of conspiracy to burgle.

Dempsey (20) of Coniston Close, Brownsover, was sentenced to ten-and-a-half months in prison suspended for 18 months and was ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid work and to take part in an Offending Behaviour programme.

Ian Windridge, prosecuting, said that Joshua Checkley owned a CO2-powered Walther CP88 pistol which he used at a local gun club of which he was a member.

Dempsey was a friend of his who had seen the pistol on visits to Mr Checkley’s rented home in Dunnerdale, Rugby.

He had asked a number of times to ‘have a go’ with it, but on each occasion Mr Checkley had refused.

On February 14 Mr Checkley went to visit relatives and left his house locked and secure, with the pistol, its pellets and operating instructions out of sight in its usual hiding-place.

By chance, while he was away he received a text from Dempsey asking him for a lift – and he replied that he was not in the Rugby area.

A few days later his grandfather went to check on the house and found the front door had been damaged by being kicked.

Later that evening a neighbour heard noises and saw two figures in dark clothes and with their hoods up running from the house and across the road at around midnight.

It was later discovered that the hidden pistol and some Playstation games and controllers had been stolen.

And when the police went to Dempsey’s home the next day, they found the pistol, its pellets and instructions in a drawer.

Dempsey claimed he had bought it at three that morning, not realising it had been stolen.

But his phone was seized, and on it officers found a photograph of him posing with the pistol, holding it across his chest, which had been posted online at 1.19 that morning, as well as a number of incriminating texts.

And Judge Richard Griffith-Jones commented: “It is a sort of immature idiocy, having himself photographed with the gun; but he intended to use it for fun rather than for crime.

“It was a mean breach of trust for something he wanted and coveted.”

Mr Windridge pointed out that Dempsey had entered his plea on the basis that he was involved in planning the burglary, but was not one of the men who went inside, and the pistol was then brought to him, as arranged.

Nick Devine, defending, said: “At the moment, as he sees it, he is living in the wrong area. He sees himself hanging around with the wrong people and wants to get away.

“He allowed himself to be photographed and plastered all over the internet with something which had been stolen just hours before. He was going to pay £50 for the gun, but was arrested before handing it over.”

Sentencing Dempsey, Judge Griffith-Jones told him: “If I thought for a moment that the reason you wanted this air pistol was to use it in the course of crime, you would be in a very grave position.

“But this was an object you wanted. The burglary was mean, it was planned, it was premeditated, and it involved doing damage to a house to get in.

“I am faithful to your plea that you did not break in; but if you tell other people there’s property there to steal because you want something there, what moral difference is there? There is none.”

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