A TEENAGER – who caused the death of 17-year-old Oliver Hawker in 2013 by recklessly driving a stolen van – broke into a house while he was on licence from his four-and-a-half-year sentence.
Charles McMorran, 18, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to burgling the house in Cherry Grove, Overslade, Rugby.
At the time of the break-in in September last year he was on licence from the sentence he had been given as a 15-year-old in April 2013 for causing death by dangerous driving.
McMorran was jailed for just under two years and five months – the minimum he could be given as a third-strike burglar after getting credit for his plea.
Prosecutor Madhu Rai said that on the evening of September 4 a couple came home to their home in Cherry Grove and discovered it had been burgled.
Two laptop computers, perfume, a Bluetooth speaker and a quantity of cash had been stolen by the burglar, who had left behind a screwdriver.
At the time McMorran was already wanted by the police for breaching the terms of his licence.
He was arrested and returned to custody over that, and after tests revealed his DNA on the screwdriver he admitted carrying out the burglary with another person.
In an impact statement the burgled couple pointed out that the computers contained irreplaceable family photographs.
Miss Rai added that McMorran had a number of previous convictions, including three for domestic burglaries.
The court was not told, but they included one in April 2013 when McMorran, then aged 15, and a 13-year-old had broken into a house in Bilton and stolen a Peugeot van from the drive.
They then drove around in the van and picked up 17-year-old Oliver Hawker.
At 4.30 that afternoon the police had a report of an accident outside Costcutters in Bilton Road where the van had hit a bin, a lamppost and a car before speeding off.
Just two minutes later McMorran lost control of the van as he hit speeds of 50-70mph and crashed, throwing Oliver, who had not been wearing a seatbelt, through the passenger window.
David Everett, defending, conceded: “Clearly the defendant is going to go back to prison, but I’m going to seek to persuade you it should be no more than three years.
“It is a dreadful record, he recognises that. There is an extremely difficult personal background for this young man.
“He was 15 when he committed the offence for which he was given 54 months custody, having first come to the attention of the criminal justice system when he was just ten and received a caution for criminal damage.
“He has been recalled to continue that four-and-a-half-year sentence, and he knows the sentence Your Honour imposes today will go beyond that.
“He had been wanted on recall because of problems with his curfew, and he went on the run. He had no place to stay and he needed cash; and, with another, he committed the offence.”
Sentencing McMorran, Recorder Christopher Tickle told him: “You could not complain if you were sent to prison for four or five years.
“But I have regard to the fact that you are still immature and still only 18 years of age.
“To lose family photographs is a terrible thing. With your upbringing, you probably don’t realise just how terrible, and I feel sorry for you about that.
“You have had a terrible upbringing, and I can understand you kicking back at the system – but the system’s bigger than you.”