A BURGLAR who had broken into a house in a quiet country lane failed to turn up at court because he ‘wanted to defer the fateful day’ until after the birth of his first child.
And ‘third strike’ burglar Nathan Wellington finally paid the price for that when he appeared at Warwick Crown Court after the police came knocking on his door.
Wellington (31) of Willclare Road, Sheldon, Birmingham, pleaded guilty to the burglary of a house in Church Road, Honiley, near Kenilworth, and failing to surrender to his bail.
He was jailed for 876 days, or just under two years a months, for the burglary – with a consecutive eight-week sentence for his failure to surrender.
Prosecutor Ian Speed said Wellington broke into the house in Church Road, a quiet, narrow country lane, during the day while the owners were out.
He got in by breaking a window, cutting himself as he did so, and carried out an untidy search of the house, leaving blood around the property, including in the master bedroom.
And he escaped with jewellery from the bedroom and some knives, none of which has been recovered.
Following his arrest Wellington, who was already classed as a ‘third strike burglar’ because of earlier offences, was surprisingly granted bail.
A warrant was issued for his arrest when he failed to turn up at the court for a hearing in June, added Mr Speed.
Wellington’s barrister told the court: “He was always intending to enter a guilty plea, but wanted to defer the fateful day until after the birth of his first child.
“The police attended his address looking for him because of the warrant, and he answered the door himself.”
The barrister said: “There does seem to have been a dropping off in his offending behaviour. He was in and out of casual work, but the work wasn’t stable and he got himself into debt.
“He saw this as a quick way of clearing the debts before the birth of his baby, and the property he stole was sold to clear those debts.”
As a third strike burglar, Wellington was facing a three-year minimum sentence, with a maximum discount of 20 per cent for his guilty plea – which was how the sentence ended up at 876 days.
Judge Sarah Buckingham told him: “This is the second time you have faced a minimum term for a dwelling house burglary.
“You made a calculated decision to break into somebody’s home and steal items to sell them to clear your debt before the birth of your child.
“You did that selfishly and without any thought for the owners of that house – and you have done it in the past.”
And she added: “Dogs were in the premises and were left in a distressed state because of your actions.”