26th Jun, 2022

Jail for two burglars after one targeted Samoan Joe's bar and soldier's flat, taking prized certificates

Correspondent 24th Apr, 2017 Updated: 24th Apr, 2017

TWO men who went on a burglary spree when one targeted a Coventry bar and a flat above it where a soldier’s treasured certificates were stolen have been jailed.

Rohan McErlean pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to eight charges of burglary, including five at Samoan Joe’s Tiki Bar in Spon Street, Coventry.

McErlean (34) of Vincent Street, Coventry, was jailed for 40 months, while David Casey (34) of Windsor Street, Coventry, was jailed for 27 months after he admitted three of the burglaries.

Prosecutor Aadhithya Anbahan said that on January 22 the two men broke into Akbars Indian Cuisine restaurant in The Butts, Coventry, while it was closed.

After failing to find anything to steal, they switched their attention to the Atkins and Barker electrical repair shop in Albany Road, Earlsdon, from where they stole batteries, electrical items and cash after forcing open the metal shutters.

Then on February 10 McErlean and Casey broke into The Railway Bar and Grill in Spon End, while the manager was still on the premises, getting away with cash and alcohol.

Miss Anbahan said that between those two dates, McErlean had also repeatedly burgled Samoan Joe’s Tiki Bar, taking cash, alcohol, and electrical items.

On February 6, he also broke into a flat over the bar, occupied by a soldier who was away at the time, and stole watches, footwear, electrical items, aftershave and documents.

McErlean had 42 convictions for 92 offences on his record, including an earlier burglary at Atkins and Barker, while Casey had 21 convictions for 47 offences, mainly of theft but including some for burglary.

William Dudley, defending, said: “..remorse is shown in their pre-sentence reports.”

He said that, since being remanded in custody, Casey, who described his life as being ‘manic’ at the time, had taken steps to deal with his chaotic lifestyle.

Of McErlean, Mr Dudley said: “So consumed by the use of class A drugs, he describes himself as ‘losing conscience’ as a result. He found himself in a sense of utter desperation.”

It was claimed McErlean had been offered class A drugswhen his relationship broke down and he was trying to cope with the death of a close relative.

Jailing the two men, Judge Andrew Lockhart QC told them: “.. Together you both, in the grip of drug addictions, sought to steal on an almost daily basis to feed your addictions. You were virtually out of control.”

He told McErlean: “The most serious is when you went into what was someone’s dwelling. That man was a serviceman who was away. He had his certificates taken, things he is really proud of, possibly some signed by the Queen.”

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