AFTER breaking into a flat above a Leamington hairdresser’s shop to find somewhere to hide, persistent burglar Phil Tedstone could not resist the temptation to steal.
And at Warwick Crown Court, Tedstone, of High Street, Leamington, pleaded guilty to the burglary.
But the 52 year-old escaped a minimum three-year prison sentence and was instead jailed for just 24 weeks after the prosecution agreed it should not be classed as a domestic burglary.
Prosecutor Ian Speed said that on February 7 Tedstone broke into a flat over a hairdresser’s shop in Warwick Street, and stole a cycle and some hair straighteners.
But following the burglary the owner checked a CCTV recording and recognised the intruder as the same person who had broken into the premises on a previous occasion.
And as a result Tedstone, whose previous convictions included that earlier burglary, was arrested.
When he was interviewed he admitted going in, explaining he had been trying to hide from someone and had then taken the £400 bike, but would not say where it was.
Mr Speed, who said although the burgled premises was a flat, it was actually only used as storage for the hairdressing salon, added Tedstone had 16 burglaries among his 19 pages of previous convictions.
Tedstone’s barrister said: “He had been on the streets at the time and in a confused state of mind. He was clean of heroin at the time, but still using cocaine.
“He went in there as a safe haven after being assaulted on Christmas Day, and he was frightened, but the temptation was too much when he saw the bike.”
Sentencing Tedstone, Recorder Thomas Rochford told him: “You are 52 years of age, and you have a very bad record, as you know.
“You are somebody who’s always in trouble, with various offences of theft, and you’ve committed 16 offences of burglary.
“This, however, was not a burglary of somebody’s house, but a business premises.
“You had been to these premises before, and you knew them and decided to go back, despite the fact that you had received a custodial sentence for your previous burglary there.
“Only a custodial sentence can be justified; but you do seem to be making some progress with your battle against drugs, and I hope you continue with that.”