24th Oct, 2020

Decorator with grudge burgled customer's house in Rugby

Andy Morris 23rd Jan, 2017

A GRUDGE led a man who had not been paid for some decorating work to go back to his customer’s house in the early hours of the morning and break in.

But Daniel Porter was spotted by neighbours as he was leaving, Warwick Crown Court has heard.

Porter, 35, of Egerton Close, Rugby, had been committed to the court by magistrates after pleading guilty to the burglary, theft from a shop and resisting a police officer.

He was jailed for 20 months – consecutive to six months of a suspended sentence he was subject to at the time.

Prosecutor Ian Windridge said in July last year Porter stole a bottle of Prosecco from the Co-op in Lawford Road by putting it down his trousers and walking out.

But Porter, who had been given a suspended sentence in May for producing cannabis, was identified from a CCTV camera.

Shortly before 7am on September 3, he was seen leaving a house in Norman Road, Rugby, carrying a stereo speaker.

After being challenged by neighbours, he left the speaker in the rear garden before making off empty-handed.

As far as the prosecution were aware, Porter had carried out the burglary alone.

But he had pleaded guilty in the magistrates’ court on a basis which his barrister Andrew Tucker acknowledged made his position worse – that he had committed the burglary with others.

And his plea indicated he had a grievance against the householder, and had gone there with others to smash windows, but then took matters further by going inside.

After giving a false name when he was arrested, Porter explained he was annoyed with the householder who had not paid him in full for some painting work.

He said he had been drinking and taking diazepam when he and some others decided to go to the house, and he accepted it was ‘possible’ he had gone in and taken the speaker.

Mr Windridge added it was accepted the householder had not paid Porter in full because she was not happy with the work, and had told him he would get the rest when he had rectified what was wrong.

Mr Tucker said although Porter had a bad record in the past, for nine years he had had a good job with Severn-Trent Water, and had been promoted to team leader.

“Very sadly, he acquired a drug dependency, and lost that job.

“He found himself being put under pressure to allow the house he was living in to be used for the cultivation of cannabis.

“The loss of that cannabis created the situation where he was being blamed by those who were growing it and was put under violent pressure. Even in HMP Hewell he’s being kept in a segregation area because there are those who want to punish him.

“That led to him leaving Rugby and going to live in Yorkshire, but he made the mistake of coming back. He was homeless, or sleeping on sofas, and in the summer of last year was living under a hedge.

“It resulted in him getting drunk with others and committing the burglary. But he’s still of an age where he could make something of his life,” added Mr Tucker.

Jailing Porter, Judge Andrew Lockhart QC told him: “There seems to be a period when you did put your life back together, and it is very unfortunate you find yourself back here for these serious matters.

“You were working for the victim of this burglary, and it is unfortunate you breached the trust that was placed in you by going there in the early hours, with others, with a grudge.

“You were going to break the windows, and when they were broken, you decided to go in and take that speaker.

“It was targeted, and you were part of a group, and it is further aggravated by the fact that it was during the currency of a suspended sentence.

“You’re a man who can do good work, and you are still a young man. Let’s make this the last time you go to custody.”

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