Tag wearing burglar jailed - Bedford


A prolific burglar raided houses while wearing a 'buddy' tag that allowed police to monitor his whereabouts.

William Martin had the tag fitted when he was given the chance of a special intensive programme to turn his life around. But Martin, who has a criminal record stretching back 30 years, could not quit taking drugs and turned back to crime to support his addiction.

One house he targetted he had raided a year before, Luton Crown Court was told on Friday, 06 November 2015.

Martin, aged 48, of Landsdowne Road, Bedford was jailed for a total of four years and nine months after pleading guilty to three burglaries with five similar offences taken into consideration. The charges related to houses in Kimbolton Road, College Road and Cardington Road, Bedford in November last year and September this year.

Nigel Ogborne, prosecuting for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), said Martin was a known prolific burglar and was being monitored by the Integrated Offender Management (IOM) programme, which involved wearing a GPS tracking device known as a 'buddy.'

The house in Cardington Road he returned to having burgled it in 2014. He broke in at the rear of the house and stole about £200 cash from a locked box.

Andrew Kelly, defending, said: "Clearly there is only one sentence, the only question is how long. It is a sad story. In his own words he said to me 'I despise the person I am."

Judge Philip Bartle QC told Martin he had "failed spectacularly" to comply with the IOM order. "You have been committing burglaries for 30 years, it is about time you stopped. There is only so much people can do to assist you."

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