Burglar is warned over prison threat

PUBLISHED: 14:15 05 October 2007 | UPDATED: 20:10 01 June 2010

BURGLAR Karl Coleman escaped an immediate jail sentence this week, after magistrates heard how he was found in a shed at the Royal Standard pub, in Wisbech, armed with a pair of marigolds and a screwdriver . Instead, he is going to be assessed, to see if

BURGLAR Karl Coleman escaped an immediate jail sentence this week, after magistrates heard how he was found in a shed at the Royal Standard pub, in Wisbech, "armed with a pair of marigolds and a screwdriver".

Instead, he is going to be assessed, to see if he is suitable for a drug rehabilitation order.

"You came very close today to going to prison," Coleman was told on Wednesday by presiding magistrate Alan Jones. "If we had done that, it would have been a sentence in excess of six months."

Fenland magistrates heard that Coleman burgled the shed on July 29, and just 24 hours earlier he stole a CD player and speaker from a car parked in the town.

Both offences were committed to feed Coleman's addiction to amphetamine, solicitor James Macwhirter told the court.

"Drugs plus Karl Coleman equals offending," he explained. But Coleman had recently since spent time in Lithuania, where he kicked his drug habit, and he is determined to stay clean.

Coleman, 28, of Southwell Road, Wisbech, admitted breaking into the pub shed with intent to steal, stealing the audio equipment, breaching a conditional discharge imposed for smashing a car windscreen, and missing a court hearing on August 21.

The court adjourned sentencing until October 24.

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