11th May, 2021

Jailed robber to serve more time for burglary committed while under investigation

A RUGBY man who is already serving a prison sentence for attempted robbery will have to spend more time behind bars – for a burglary he committed while he was under investigation.

But an accomplice who also carried out another break-in has escaped being jailed after a judge at Warwick Crown Court heard he had not been in trouble before or since.

Liam Ashby and Stewart Currie both pleaded guilty to the night-time burglary of a house in Kingsley Avenue and fraud, while Currie also admitted burgling a house in nearby Hillmorton Road.

Ashby, 21, of Millersdale Close, Rugby, was jailed for eight months – consecutive to a three-a-half-year sentence he was given in February for attempted robbery.

Currie, 19, of Avonmere, Rugby, who also admitted the theft of a car, was sentenced to 15 months suspended for two years and ordered to take part in a rehabilitation activity.

Also in court was John Revel, 19, previously of Cambridge Street, Rugby, but now living in Erdington, Birmingham, who was given an 18-month community order after pleading guilty to five charges of handling stolen goods.

Prosecutor Callum Church said that in July last year a single mother was asleep at her home in Hillmorton Road when she was woken by her dog barking at three in the morning.

Not realising anything was amiss, she shouted at it to shut up and went back to sleep.

But an hour later she was woken by police officers at her door and was told that her Ford C-Max car, which she had left parked outside, had been in a crash in School Street.

She then discovered that her handbag had been stolen by an intruder – and Currie was identified because his fingerprints were found on the inside of the driver’s door of the car.

Then in August, before he had been arrested, Currie and Ashby broke into a house in Kingsley Avenue, again at three in the morning while a couple and their four children were asleep.

Although there was an alarm, it had not been set, and the wife was woken by their dog barking.

She looked out of the window and saw a figure walking away and heard two voices, after which she found the lock on a window had been broken and a number of items had been taken.

The same evening a debit card was stolen from a car, and Ashby and Currie were identified from the CCTV camera at a petrol station where they used the card for two contactless purchases.

Three days later the police went to Revel’s home to arrest Currie, who was there at the time, and found a number of stolen items including a mountain bike, two i-Pods, a speaker and headphones which had been taken in five burglaries or thefts.

Mr Church added that Ashby had ten previous convictions, including the attempted robbery, and Revel had been convicted of offences including being carried in a stolen car, but Currie had no previous convictions.

Colin Charvill, for Ashby, said he had committed the burglary after the police had released him under investigation for the attempted robbery, for which he was charged in October 2019.

But although he had been arrested for the burglary two months earlier, he was not charged with it until July this year, by which time he had been sentenced for the attempted robbery.

And Mr Charvill asked the judge to consider what the total sentence would have been if he had been dealt with for both matters at the same time.

David Eager, for Currie, said that up until the time his father died in 2017, Currie was at school and had been doing well.

“He went off the rails, and for a period of three weeks or a month in 2019 he behaved in the way Your Honour has heard about – but he has been at liberty since, and has reverted to the boy he was, and not offended again.”

And Rachel Pennington, for Revel, said he had expressed remorse for his involvement in handling the stolen property.

Sentencing the three, Judge Peter Cooke told Ashby: “The burglary… is aggravated by being at night and by the fact that you had been released under investigation for the robbery for which you are now serving a sentence.”

And he told Currie: “These burglaries are aggravated by being at night. That makes having your home entered even more terrifying. But they are mitigated by your youth and lack of previous convictions.

“You are not going to custody today. What has really swayed me is that it looks as though you went off the rails after you suffered that tragic bereavement, since when you have stayed out of trouble and have stabilised your life in many respects.”

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