Prolific Yate burglar is jailed for 18 months for Iron Acton break-in and stealing six Poppy Appeal collection tins
A PROLIFIC burglar from Yate has been jailed after admitting nearly 30 offences including the theft of war medals, an MBE and Poppy Appeal collection tins.
Heroin addict Bradley Morgan, from Longs Drive, was sentenced to 18 months in prison after admitting breaking in to a rural property in Iron Acton, leaving the owners feeling scared in their home.
The 25-year-old, who has been in and out of prison for much of his life, also pleaded guilty to buying £45 of petrol at Yate Bridge Service Station, on Station Road, and other goods with fake £20 notes.
Judge Julian Lambert was also asked to take into account a further 27 offences including the theft of two Borneo war medals belonging to a former RAF pilot from Backwell and an MBE medal belonging to his wife's mother and the theft of six Poppy Appeal collection tins from three locations in Yate including the town’s leisure centre, one in Westerleigh and two others from Bristol.
Prosecuting, Edward Napp told Bristol Crown Court last Thursday that the burglary at Green Lane Farm, on Dyers Lane, Iron Acton on November 28 last year had left the owners shaken.
“At 8.45am the victim, Steven Hill, left for work,” said Mr Napp. “At 4.30pm when he arrived home he found lights were on and the ground floor window had been smashed.”
Mr Napp told the court that three watches, including two expensive Breitling makes and one which belonged to Mr Hill’s late father, were stolen in the burglary along with jewellery.
“One of the Breitling watches was recovered from the defendant and the watch belonging to the father was found in a pawn shop which was identified by the defendant.”
He added: “Mr Hill expresses an impact perhaps greater than we hear before these courts, but it is not unusual.
“He felt completely violated. Someone had been in his house and looked through almost every drawer and cupboard. He has had sleepless night and it has really affected the whole family. His children, aged 11, 9 and 7, all feel insecure in their home and tearful. Two of the children now come into their parents’ bed at night and the youngest child is having difficulty at school as a result of this.”
The court heard how Morgan, who is expecting his first child next month, was arrested on December 5 at a bed and breakfast in Fishponds.
Defending, Emily Evans, said her client had turned over a new leaf and requested Morgan was given a suspended sentence so Morgan could receive treatment for his £100-a-day drug addiction.
“Mr Morgan is a man who grew up with a very strict father,” she said. “He was very frightened as a child. He tried very hard to please him but in the end he went off the rails at 18 or 19.
“At that stage he started misusing alcohol and started committing crime. He was introduced to heroin in prison and became addicted and when he was released he began committing crimes to fund his habit. His addiction has escalated to such an extent he was injecting into his groin, something he says he has never done before.
“He has reached a point in his life where he realises he has to stop or he will die.”
Added Ms Evans: “In the last 10 years he has spent eight-and-a-half of them in custody. Prison is easy for his man, he has spent most of his life there.
“He has completed every single course available to him and wants to change for the better. He is motivated and determined.
“I ask you to consider what will benefit the public the most. Sending a man to an immediate custodial sentence, when he has reoffended before and is likely to again, or suspending his sentence and allowing him on a drug rehabilitation programme and the support he needs to tackle those issues.”
DC Stuart Brooks, from the police Impact team, said Morgan had cooperated fully and helped return many items, including the war medals and MBE, to their rightful owners.
But Judge Lambert said the impact on the victims outweighed Morgan’s request for a suspended sentence.
“I will tell you hear and now, I couldn’t look a victim in the eye without passing a custodial sentence,” he said.
Morgan was given 18 months imprisonment for the Iron Acton burglary and six months for using counterfeit money, to be served concurrently.