Burglar jailed after breaching community order - Bushey

06/03/2013

A burglar, who spurned the chance given to him by a judge to turn his back on a life of crime, was jailed today, Wednesday, 06 March 2013, for 42 months.

Ross Holmes, from Bushey, was given a community order after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglaries which had netted property worth £200,000. He recruited young people from Borehamwood to take part in break ins with him.

But Holmes had escaped jail after convincing Hertfordshire Constabulary and the Probation Service that he was motivated to turn away from his criminal lifestyle and go straight.

Instead of a prison sentence, he was placed by Judge Andrew Bright QC on the Choices and Consequence programme, which has been set up in Hertfordshire to help persistent offenders, who often commit crimes out of drug dependency, to tackle their problem on the outside.

That was in September 2011, but last autumn Holmes was found to be in possession of property from a burglary and a small amount of cannabis.

As a result, the 24-year-old, of Forest Walk, Bushey, found himself back in St Albans Crown Court and before Judge Bright for breaching the 36 month community order he had been handed in 2011 to enable him to go on the programme known as C2.

He was back before Judge Bright to be sentenced for the conspiracy to burgle offence as well as the new handling offence and possessing cannabis.

The conspiracy had involved Holmes and two co-defendants committing a series of day time domestic burglaries in London between 05 January and 21 January 2011. They would stay in hotels in Hertfordshire, but travel into London to commit the crimes targeting homes for cash and jewellery.

In September 2011 when appearing at St Albans Crown Court in front of Judge Bright, Holmes admitted taking part in the conspiracy and asked for 35 similar burglary offences to be taken into consideration.

Today the court heard the value of property taken in the burglaries was around £200,000.

Judge Bright told Holmes that "by and large" he had been making progress on the C2 programme and getting his life back on track. But he said the fact that he had now pleaded to further offences was of concern because it suggested he may have been trying to hoodwink those trying to help him and "string everyone along."

Holmes was given a 30 month jail sentence for the conspiracy offence plus a further 12 months for the new offences to run consecutively making 42 months in total.

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