4th Jul, 2022

Burglar struck at Balsall Common with £30k Asian gold haul

Editorial Correspondent 16th Apr, 2020 Updated: 16th Apr, 2020

A burglar who stole Asian gold in a well-planned Balsall Common house raid, then headed straight to Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter to try to sell it, has assets worth even more than is £30,000 haul.

Adam McCarthy is currently serving a sentence of three years and four months after pleading guilty at Warwick Crown Court to the burglary of the house in Balsall Common, near Solihull.

But when McCarthy (36) who previously lived in Coventry, was jailed, a further hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act was adjourned for an investigation into his finances.

At the resumed hearing, which took place in his absence, his barrister Derek Johashen said it was agreed McCarthy’s benefit from his crime was a total of £31,216.54.

Mr Johashen, appearing via a video conferencing facility, said it was accepted that McCarthy had available assets ‘in excess of that amount’ of £55,140.

He pointed out: “No-one is sure where the assets are, whether the police have them or whether the defendant still has them. But three months should take care of that issue.”

So Judge Peter Cooke, who had previously commented that McCarthy was ‘not very good at crime,’ ordered that £31,216.54 should be confiscated from him under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

He gave him three months to pay up, with McCarthy facing an additional eight months in prison if it is not paid within that time – after which he would still owe the money.

During the original hearing prosecutor Mohammed Hafeez said that at lunchtime on August 20 last year a woman left her home in Meeting House Lane, Balsall Common, for a couple of hours.

“She returned at 3.30 to find the rear garden door had been forced open and an untidy search carried out, with everything turned upside-down.”

A large quantity of Asian jewellery worth around £30,000 had been stolen, together with an i-Pad, other electrical items, cash and a distinctive PE bag.

When the police subsequently checked CCTV recordings, they noticed a Ford Fiesta loitering in the area – and two men going towards it, with one of them carrying the PE bag.

The car was registered to McCarthy, and when he was arrested more than £3,000 in cash was found at his home in Goldfinch Close, Bicester, Oxfordshire.

ANPR cameras along the route showed the Fiesta had been driven from Bicester to Coventry and then to Balsall Common, where CCTV recordings indicated a team of three, with one person staying in the car.

Following the raid, they drove to the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham, after a call had been made to a shop there, before returning to Bicester.

Mr Hafeez said McCarthy had ‘a shocking record’ which included burglaries, robbery, and a firearms offence for which he had been jailed for five years at Leicester Crown Court in 2015.

And Judge Cooke commented: “He’s really not very good at crime, and ought to think about something else in the future.”

Mr Johashen said: “What he says has prompted him to enter his plea is that he does not want any members of the family who were the victims of his crime to have to come to court or have to wait for the outcome.”

Jailing McCarthy, Judge Cooke had told him: “You have today pleaded guilty to this very serious offence of burglary, committed many, many miles from your address in Bicester.

“You committed it because it was expected there would be a large haul of Asian jewellery, and that proved to be the case. “The distance you travelled to this house, and the movement straight from there to the Jewellery Quarter with a view to selling the items, are indications of a carefully-planned exercise.”

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