Judge's warning to house burglar
A CONVICTED criminal is physically unable to carry out unpaid work – despite "wriggling through a window" to commit a burglary, a court heard.
Nicholas March was yesterday slapped with a strict curfew that will keep him indoors for much of the next five months.
The 52-year-old was convicted of the night-time burglary earlier this month after denying the offence throughout his trial.
Plymouth Crown Court heard how former heroin addict March was also in possession of the Class B drug cannabis, which he continues to smoke on a regular basis, when he was arrested.
The court heard how he had a list of previous convictions but had mostly stayed out of trouble for the last decade, saying he was "too old for this business".
March's only other recent conviction was for shoplifting in 2010, the court was told.
Defence barrister Jason Beal said March, of Powderham Road in Hartley, suffered from a physical injury but that he would carry out unpaid work "if he could".
He added that March helped care for his parents, driving to their home on a daily basis.
But Judge Paul Darlow told him: "Here he is doing the gardening, the housework, the shopping, wriggling through windows, as the jury found – that requires some level of athleticism.
"What he seems unable to do is unpaid work."
Addressing March, the judge said: "The jury found you guilty of one non-dwelling burglary.
"You come before the court as a man with an indifferent record.
"You continue to deny responsibility; if that's a matter of face for you, then so be it."
Sentencing March to a strict curfew, Judge Darlow added: "I don't like flat-screen curfews.
"It's not simply a case of you staying at home with a few tins from the off-licence – it's going to be slightly more onerous."
March will be tagged and must stay indoors between 11am and 2pm, and also between 5pm and 4am for the next five months.