Court ‘sends the right message’ to burglarsBy Mike Pyle
February 28, 2011
A jeweller has welcomed the three-year jail sentence handed to a burglar who caused thousands of pounds worth of damage during a raid last year.
Scott Blucher Bush, of Boole Heights in Easthampstead, broke into Jason Charles jewellers in Liscombe, Birch Hill, in August last year.
The 29-year-old was found guilty of burglary at Reading Crown Court on Friday, February 11, after a five-day-trial.
The judge rejected Bush’s plea that he had been kidnapped and forced to commit the burglary and sentenced him to three years in jail.
The jewellery taken in the raid has never been recovered.
Shop owner Jason Weekes said: “I’m very happy. It’s a great result from the police. I really can’t fault them in everything they’ve done.
“I’m happy with the sentence. In this day and age you see people being let off for worse things so I’m glad this sends out the right message that you can’t just go out and take things from people. I’ve grown this business myself and, prior to taking over, my life wasn’t great – there were hard times, but I didn’t go out doing burglaries.”
The burglary happened at around 8.20pm on Wednesday, August 25, last year.
Bush and some accomplices had visited the shop earlier in the same day.
Jason said: “He came to the shop in the day and was acting suspiciously. He said he was looking for engagement rings but he had friends outside – I went out and saw them and I knew something was going on but I didn’t know what.
“I said to him ‘are they your friends?’, and he said ‘no, no, no’, but we knew they were up to something.”
Bush came back later that night and broke through a door before breaking into jewellery cabinets.
The full cost of the burglary, including the value of the items stolen, the repairs and the upgrades to security was around £25,000.
Jason said: “My wife and I were at a wedding fair showing our ring collection when we got the call.
“When we got to the shop the police were already there. They told us they gave chase but it was bucketing down and the dog couldn’t pick up the scent.
“It’s all very upsetting. You do feel violated somehow by something like this.”
During the trial, Bush claimed he was addicted to cocaine at the time of the burglary, owed his dealers money and it was them who kidnapped him and forced him to commit the crime.
The judge disregarded this and took the fact that Bush had shown a degree of professionalism by visiting the shop in the day to be an aggravating factor when sentencing him. Detective Constable Iain Watkinson, investigating officer, said: “This was a high value burglary and the jewellery has never been recovered.
“I welcome the strong sentence and hope this puts off any other would-be burglars.”