Jailed burglar ‘threw away every chance’

Repeat offender Mark Wilson, 21, was jailed for 33 months for burglary.
Repeat offender Mark Wilson, 21, was jailed for 33 months for burglary.
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A judge who jailed a burglar told him she had never seen a man of his age throw away so many chances to change.

Mark Wilson was appearing for sentence as a “three strikes” burglar facing a minimum jail term when Judge Beverley Lunt said that in the past he had been given sentences like youth rehabilitation, supervision and curfew, only to fall back into crime.

Passing a 33-month jail term at Preston Crown Court, she said: “I have ever seen so many thrown away chances for a young man in my life, chance after chance, after chance.

“You say now you have had a change of heart and are going to try to leave this life behind.

“I hope it’s true, otherwise next time the starting point for sentence will be five, six or even seven years.”

The 21-year-old, of Queens Promenade, Blackpool, had pleaded guilty to two offences of burglary, plus one of being concerned in the supply of cannabis.

Wilson had been a passenger in a car when three large bags of the drugs were discovered by police last July.

The cannabis weighed 79.7g and would have been worth £420 on the street.

John Wyn Williams, prosecuting, said the defendant was therefore on bail when he burgled a home on Queens Promenade in the early hours of September 2.

He stole items, but crime scene investigators recovered his DNA from a cigarette on the driveway.

Two weeks later, on September 15, he carried out a burglary at the Cliffs Hotel.

The manager’s office had been broken into.

Police were called and Wilson was found inside the office.

He had three sets of car keys and a mobile phone in his possession, but claimed he couldn’t remember due to having been drinking.

He had a number of previous convictions and in 2012 was given his first custodial sentence for burglary of 20 months. Waheed Omran-Baber, defending, said Wilson knew he was facing a mandatory prison sentence.

He had written a letter to the judge.

Judge Lunt commented that the last prison sentence had not worked.

His lawyer told the court: “The defendant says that due to the length of time he will serve there is a realisation that he doesn’t want to continue with this course of life – crime and prison.

“He wants to break the cycle, but is at a loss about how to do that. He is making changes in his life.”