4th Jul, 2022

'Listen to me Mr Devine!': Judge addresses persistent burglar after 225 offences

Felix Nobes 18th Jul, 2018

‘LISTEN to me Mr Devine’ is how a judge addressed a persistent Coventry burglar with 225 offences to his name.

Mark Devine was jailed for two years and five months for his latest crime.

The court heard how, just weeks after he had been given a suspended sentence for an attempted burglary, Devine broke into a couple’s home in the middle of the night.

He was arrested after a police officer recognised him on CCTV recordings from shops where he had used a bank card taken during the raid.

And at Warwick Crown Court Devine pleaded guilty to the burglary, the theft of the couple’s car, and three charges of fraud.

Devine, 42, of Eskdale Walk, Willenhall, Coventry, was jailed for two years and five months – consecutive to nine months of his suspended sentence which he was also ordered to serve.

Prosecutor Rupert Jones said that in the early hours of March 25, Devine broke into a house in Dayton Grove, Willenhall, Coventry, while the couple who lived there were asleep in bed.

He stole a wallet, a handbag, a games console and the key to an £18,000 Ford Focus which he stole from outside the house – and which has not been recovered.

Devine then use a bank card from the wallet to make contactless transactions at two service stations and a One Stop store for a total of just over £66.

The card was stopped after the householders were alerted by a neighbour who had seen their front door wide open when he got up, and the police were contacted.

Devine was identified on CCTV recordings from the three shops, and on one he had been shown arriving in the stolen car, said Mr Jones.

He added that Devine had 49 convictions for 225 offences, including thefts and house burglaries, and in February had been given a 12-month suspended sentence for an attempted burglary.

Simon Hunka, defending, conceded: “When someone comes before the court with antecedents like this, there’s relatively little that can be said in mitigation.”

He said the offences were committed because of Devine’s long-standing heroin and crack cocaine addictions, but with a reduction in his offending over the last two years ‘there has been a shoot of home going forward.’

Jailing Devine, Judge Andrew Lockhart QC told him: “Listen to me Mr Devine. The sad fact is that you have listened to a very large number of judges over the years telling you you simply can’t carry on committing offences like this.”

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