Burglar Jailed for 5 years 4 months - Bedford


Burglar Daniel Cowperthwaite, who stole over £60,000 worth of property in break-ins all over Bedford, was jailed for 5 years 4 months today, Tuesday, 28 May 2013.

Cowperthwaite, who had been committing crimes to feed his drug addiction, had been given a chance to get clean and stop offending.

At a hearing last year, he had been sentenced to a Community Order and was placed on the Integrated Offender Managment Programme --in which the police, probation officers and drug workers try to stop prolific offenders committing more crimes by getting them off drugs and finding them stable accommodation.

But Luton Crown Court heard today,  he breached the order after being caught on the street in Bedford with 20 wraps of heroin and by taking crack cocaine.

Prosecutor Helen Guest said Cowperthwaite, 36, was seen acting suspiciously by an off duty police officer in Bedford on 05 January this year. The officer was concerned that he and a man who was with him might have been involved in a burglary. When Cowperthwaite was searched he co-operated until he was asked to take off his gloves. Eventually he removed them and threw, what turned out to be, the 20 wraps to the ground.

Cowperthwaite of Clapham Road, Bedford pleaded guilty to possessing 20 wraps of heroin. He was cleared by a jury of possessing the drugs with intent to supply. He also appeared to be sentenced for breaching the 3 year Community Order , and to be re-sentenced for the original burglaries.

Ms Guest said that in February 2012 Cowperthwaite received the Community Order for 4 burglaries of homes in Bedford. He asked for 139 offences to be taken in consideration - 94 were burglaries.

The total amount stolen came to £62,750. Nothing was recovered. He would force windows and doors to get into secluded and prosperous-looking homes during the day time.  At one house in Greenshields Road he was disturbed by a 15 year old girl who had returned home. Cowperthwaite ran out into the back garden and jumped over a fence to escape. Among the items taken in a break-in in Wedgewood Road was a Breitling watch that the 71-year-old owner had spent 5 years saving for.

Other places he burgled were: the Student Bar at the University, an estate agent's, a Bedford Modern School boarding house, wings at the hospital, Nobby's Hobbies, Bedford Athletic Rugby Club, and  the National Farmers' Union building.

Within a week of receiving the Community Order last February, Cowperthwaite was caught with 10 wraps of crack and 2 wraps of heroin. He admitted possessing the drugs and was released having spent 16 weeks on remand in Bedford prison. For that offence he received a second Community Order, which he breached by failing to attend a probation appointment on 05 October last year. By then his crack addiction had returned.

Paul Orton, defending, said Cowperthwaite was "realistic" and thanked the judge for the earlier chances he had been given. "He wants to go into rehab and start a new life with his girlfriend, who is a law undergraduate, "he said.

Judge Michael Baker QC told him: "You are addicted to Class A drugs. You expressed a desire to change your life and said you were going to give 110 per cent to the programme. The Community Order simply cannot continue. It has to be replaced by a substantial custodial sentence."

Please note - all court copies are provided by South Beds News Agency, who retain the copyright for all articles published.