A teenage criminal who was carrying out unpaid work in a village church and wandered off to burgle a nearby house has been sentenced to 12 months’ detention.
Joseph Marodza was sent to the Church of St James the Great, in Paulerspury, as part of a community order imposed on him for handling stolen goods.
But he walked out shortly after starting work for the day and walked into an insecure property in High Street.
He fled the scene but was quickly restrained by the victim until police arrived.
His miserly haul from the incident, which took place on November 26 last year, was a packet of rolling tobacco and some cigarette papers.
Marodza, aged 19, of Forest Road, Far Cotton, Northampton, admitted burglary at Northampton Crown Court, and was sentenced to 12 months in a young offenders’ institute. He was previously jailed for 12 weeks for breaching his community order.
The court heard Marodza had four previous burglary convictions, the first of which was carried out when he was 15, and one conviction for robbery. Jenna Allen, prosecuting, said: “At about 10am the owner left the house. He was gone no more than five minutes. When he returned, he made his way into the kitchen, and turned around to see this defendant tip-toeing towards the front door. He shouted at him and the defendant started running away.
“The defendant returned to the church and was out of breath. The victim detained him until the police arrived.”
Sentencing Joseph Marodza, Judge Lynn Tayton warned him he would be jailed for three years if he committed any further dwelling burglaries. She said: “You know this is a serious offence. “I accept this was committed on impulse, but there are aggravating features. You have previous convictions and a history of failing to comply with orders. James McLernon, mitigating, said: “He has genuine remorse. It was a purely opportunistic crime.”