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Career thief with 20 previous convictions given 'one last chance'
9:00am Wednesday 23rd January 2013 in News
A CAREER thief with 20 previous convictions for burglary has been given ‘one last chance’ by a top judge after his latest offence.
Gary Hughes, aged 49, of Poplars Avenue, Orford, was sentenced for burglary at Warrington Crown Court on Monday.
It was the 21st time he has been convicted for the crime, including a 40 month prison sentence.
Recorder Andrew Long decided not to send him back to prison.
He said: “I can send you down like so many judges before or I can give you a chance.
“By a small margin, I’m going to give you a chance.
“Your rate of offending has fallen considerably .
“You appear to want to put your life in order and I’m going to give you a chance to do that.
“You have a terrible record for previous burglaries for which you have been sentenced in the past.”
Hughes was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for 12 months.
He will be under electronic curfew for three months between 7pm and 7am, and do 240 hours unpaid work.
A supervision order for 12 months was also passed, along with an order to complete a thinking skills course.
The court heard how Hughes’ latest raid took place at the Imperial Hotel on Bewsey Road in Bewsey Along with an accomplice the defendant forced entry to the pub in the early hours of the morning before stealing £811 from the till.
The landlady and her partner were asleep in living accommodation above the pub at the time.
Peter Hussey, prosecuting, said a police officer looking at CCTV footage of the incident recognised Hughes and he was later arrested.
During the burglary the defendant had been wearing distinctive motorcycle gloves.
When police went to his Orford home to arrest him, the gloves were found.
Simon Berkson, defending, said Hughes wants to ‘turn over a new leaf’.
“He claims to be sincere on this occasion,” said Mr Berkson.
“He is doing his best to get a new job and hopes to set up a car valeting service.
“I submit he could be given a further chance today.”