A 21-YEAR-OLD burglar who was disturbed by the sleeping occupant of a flat has been given a 12-month community order.
Convicted shoplifter Ashley Hirst got into the flat above a bar on Brook Street, Huddersfield during the afternoon of July 17, but he was disturbed as he rifled through the pockets of a pair of jeans by one of the occupiers who was asleep in bed.
Bradford Crown Court heard yesterday that Hirst fled from the property but was later arrested by police with the help of CCTV operators.
Although Hirst, of Burn Road, Huddersfield, initially claimed any witnesses who identified him must have been mistaken he eventually pleaded guilty to the burglary charge.
The Honorary Recorder of Bradford Judge James Stewart QC said Hirst had an appalling record of previous convictions, mostly for shoplifting, and added: “You’re heading for a life in prison. It’s not a very good life. You get fed and watered but that’s about it.”
Hirst said he wanted help with his drugs problem and Judge Stewart decided to impose the community sentence after hearing that the defendant had already spent the equivalent of seven months in custody since being remanded following his arrest.
Hirst’s barrister Adam Birkby said if he was given a prison sentence for the burglary he would be released on licence without any help whatsover and there was a risk he would commit further offences to feed his drug habit.
Judge Stewart told Hirst he had to take responsibility for his own actions and warned him that he would go to prison if he breached the order.
Under the terms of the community order Hirst will be subject to supervision for a year and he must comply with a drug rehabilitation requirement for nine months.