Homeless burglar jailed - Bedford


A homeless man who burgled a church and stole from a charity collection box has been jailed for four years.

Jason Weston, 41, who had burgled many times before, also broke into three houses in Bedford in July and August last year.

Luton Crown Court was told on Friday, 25 January 2013, that on 04 August, Weston went into the Francesca Cabrini Italian Church in Woburn Road, Bedford. While there he pulled over a religious statue, tried to smash open one charity box and successfully opened another and broke a bottle of wine. He cut himself on the broken glass, leaving his blood at the scene, which identified him as the burglar.

He admitted he had stolen a small amount of cash, but claimed the damage had already been caused when he went into the church looking for somewhere to sleep.

He was also linked to burglaries at three houses, one in Lark Way and two in Shakespeare Road. Property he stole included a Cartier watch and laptops, said prosecutor Kevin West for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

Weston pleaded guilty to four charges of burglary.

Tim Nutley, defending said: "He is a long term drug addict and has been using heroin since he was 18.

"He is completely and totally isolated. He has no friends or family, no home, no money, no clothes and cannot see a future ahead of him."

Judge Philip Bartle QC told Weston: "You have a very poor record including a significant number of offences of burglary.

"You also burgled a church causing damage and getting a small amount of money from a charity box."

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