Man jailed for 5.5-years for perverting course of justice and burglary - Stevenage

30/03/2012

A 42-year-old Stevenage man was sentenced to five and a half years imprisonment at Cambridge Crown Court on Friday, 30 March 2012 for perverting the course of justice after trying to evade justice at a burglary trial, as well as committing a burglary in the town.

Darren Rolt, of Plash Drive, was charged with a burglary that occurred at the home of an elderly lady in Stevenage in September 2009. He pleaded not guilty at Cambridge Crown Court in August 2010, and during the trial offered an alibi that he had spent the night of the burglary at the address of a woman named Rita Hearnden. Despite strong forensic evidence linking him to the burglary the jury at this trial were unable to reach a verdict.

A re-trial took place in November 2010 where false evidence was provided again by Hearnden. The jury could not reach a verdict and he was subsequently acquitted.

Considerable work was undertaken to establish that Hearnden's evidence was false and they were both subsequently charged with perverting the course of justice in March 2011.

Whilst on bail for perverting the course of justice, Rolt was charged with committing a burglary at the home of an elderly couple in Mobbsbury Way in May 2011.  Rolt appeared at Hatfield Remand Court in May 2011 and pleaded guilty to the burglary.

After a three day trial last week at Cambridge Crown Court, Rolt was found guilty of perverting the course of justice and was sentenced to a combined five and a half years for all the offences.

His accomplice, 54-year-old Rita Hearnden of Buckthorn Avenue, Stevenage, was also found guilty of perverting the course of justice and is due to be sentenced later this month.

During sentencing, Judge Hawksworth commented that Rolt "had a troubling trait of targeting vulnerable people".