A DEFENCE lawyer made a startling admission when he told a judge his client had spent more time in court than most barristers.
Michael Hayton admitted Sunshine Wood had a “terrible” criminal record, but appealed for him to be kept out of jail.
Wood, 25, of Scorton Avenue, Layton, had a total of 94 previous convictions to his name – including offences of robbery and wounding.
He claimed he had been acting as a lookout when a family home on Kingfisher Drive, Poulton, was broken into in April.
Several days later, he pawned items of jewellery for £100, Preston Crown Court heard.
Wood pleaded guilty to burglary. He was jailed for 15 months.
Mr Hayton told the court most of the previous offences had been carried out while Wood was a boy.
“He has a terrible record, but he is not a prolific burglar. In this offence he says he was a lookout and that others went in.
“There is many a barrister who has been in court less than Mr Wood.”
Bob Elias, prosecuting, said a neighbour saw three people acting suspiciously at the house in Poulton and saw them running away.
Wood was later picked out on an identity parade as having been one of the three.
The defendant pawned items of jewellery at the Money Shop in Layton.
He gave his true name to staff at the shop, where a video was taken of clients, for security purposes.
Mr Hayton said a suspended sentence would be a fitting sentence.
“He is now approaching five months on remand in custody”, added Mr Hayton.
“In his words, he says if a prison term is passed, he would be out soon and have 15 minutes a week on licence with a probation officer”.
Passing the jail term, Judge Michael Byrne told Wood: “You have an appalling criminal record.
“Previous court orders have not really produced any coercion upon you to reverse from a life of crime. Burglary of a home remains a serious offence, not to be judged simply by the value of the property taken.
“It’s the invasion of the premises, the lack of feeling any security that householders are subsequently left with”.
In a separate hearing, a woman linked to handling property stolen in the burglary was given a suspended jail term.
Nicola Bolton, 24, of Curtis Street, Layton, had admitted two offences of handling, one of taking a vehicle without consent, as well as not having insurance, failing to stop after an accident and failing to report an accident.
She was given one year’s prison, suspended for two years, with two years’ supervision and a 150 hours’ unpaid work.