Burglar flees from courthouse

PUBLISHED: 16:35 14 July 2006 | UPDATED: 10:45 01 June 2010

BURGLAR Tony Devlin escaped from Wisbech courthouse on Tuesday morning after being told he would be jailed for 12 months. The words were hardly out of the magistrate s mouth when the 23-year-old drug user ran from the courtroom, past security staff and ou

BURGLAR Tony Devlin escaped from Wisbech courthouse on Tuesday morning after being told he would be jailed for 12 months.

The words were hardly out of the magistrate's mouth when the 23-year-old drug user ran from the courtroom, past security staff and out of the front door to freedom.

But he was soon found by police saying farewell to his baby - and within an hour he was behind bars.

Minutes before his escape, Devlin, 23, of Southwell Road, had admitted burglaries at the Carnaud Metalbox factory in Wisbech, and The Pet Shop in Wisbech High Street - and asked for 40 similar offences to be taken into consideration.

"He admitted the two offences and when the police asked him if there were any other matters, he went out with them in a car and pointed out the venues of other offences,"said solicitor Roger Glazebrook.

"Some were recent, others were up to three years old. He was offending to get money for his drug habit."

The court heard how Devlin stole the till and £300 cash from the Carnaud Metalbox canteen on December 11 last year, brazenly walking out with it. The cash was never recovered.

On June 15 he broke into The Pet Shop, stealing dog beds and dog leads valued at £86. CCTV pictures showed him throwing them over a walk before leaving.

He also admitted causing criminal damage to guttering at Evisons Ltd in Wisbech High Street on June 29.

Mr Glazebrook said Devlin had gone to the Pet Shop planning to sleep in an empty flat above the premises, after a row with his partner.

He stole the items to get money for flowers and chocolates, to apologise to her.

Two weeks later he planned to return to the Pet Shop after another argument, and broke the guttering of neighbouring Evisons shop as he tried to climb in.

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