A PROLIFIC burglar caught red handed with cricket club cash will be released from prison after top judges ruled he deserved a final chance.
Ian Dudman, of no fixed address, already had 80 convictions to his name when he was caught in the act stealing the cash box from Lytham Cricket and Sports Club’s pool table in March.
The 35-year-old pleaded guilty to burglary and – after also admitting burgling a florist, a golf club and a rugby club in the week before he targeted the Church Road club – was jailed for 18 months at Preston Crown Court in April.
But now top judges at the Court of Appeal in London have ruled the punishment was too harsh, and changed it to a 12-month suspended jail term with supervision and drug and alcohol requirements.
Judge Bevan, sitting with Lord Justice Atkins and Mr Justice Burton, said: “In our judgement, the sentence imposed was too severe, paying too much attention to his appalling record. He has now served the equivalent of a six-month sentence for these offences. In these circumstances, we are prepared to give him a final chance, the alternative being a revolving prison door throughout his adult life.”
Lytham Cricket and Sports Club declined to the comment on the specific case, but a spokeswoman said: “This kind of activity does happen from time to time and we make members and visitors aware of the importance of looking after their possessions.”
Dudman will be released next week.