Burglar asks to be sent to prisonBy Paul Cassell
November 12, 2012
A burglar gave himself up to police after breaking into a house so he could go to jail and receive help for his drug addiction.
Odelle Christian ransacked the property in Lytham End, Tilehurst, causing £3,000 worth of damage, before stealing cash and jewellery on August 2, this year.
Judge Stephen John sentenced the 36-year-old to serve two years and eight months in jail, when he appeared before Reading Crown Court on Friday, November 2.
The court heard Christian was driven from his home in Leicester to the address in Reading by drug dealers who he owed up to £2,000.
Jane Davies, prosecuting, said: “Police were called by a neighbour who witnessed events as they unfolded during the day while the occupier was not at home.
“She saw the defendant acting suspiciously in the back garden and watched as the defendant tried to get into the property.”
Christian looked closely through a couple of windows to check if anyone was in the house before propping a ladder up against the rear of the house and forcing his way through a window.
Officers arrived and found him in the back garden with items he had stolen from the property and the homeowners were contacted.
Inside the house drawers had been pulled out and broken and their contents rummaged through and strewn across the bedroom and en suite.
Jewellery, a stash of Euros and US dollars and a ball in the shape of a temple in which the couple put £1 every day they prayed had been taken.
Miss Davies explained Christian was a heavy user of heroin and cocaine and had 36 previous convictions including 23 for theft-related offences.
Thomas Schofield, defending, insisted the crime “wasn’t a sophisticated burglary” but conceded it was planned and premeditated.
He explained that Christian had never been given a drug rehabilitation requirement by the courts and this was now a chance to put this to the test and he had willingly sort help voluntarily.
He added that a friend had offered to pay £2,000 to assist with getting his client off drugs which was an indication of “faith in his motivation to engage” that was backed by police who interviewed him.
Mr Schofield said: “He said he waited around so he could be arrested so he could get help with his addiction.”
The court heard Christian had written a letter of apology to the victims.
Passing sentence, Judge John said: “Those that burgle need to understand that those who live in the premises are badly affected and never feel safe in their houses again.”