Northampton burglar with 138 convictions for theft avoids prison sentence . . . after admitting breaking into a car

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A prolific Northampton burglar who has committed more than 250 offences has avoided a jail sentence after he pleaded guilty to theft and possessing a knife.

Robert Mould, aged 40, who has 138 convictions for theft, appeared at Northampton Crown Court on Monday after he admitted breaking into a car and attempting to steal a tow rope in Abington on October 18 last year.

Jenna Allen, prosecuting, said Mould was caught by the owner of the car who saw lights flashing on his driveway at around 8pm.

She said that, when the owner went to see what was happening, he saw Mould standing by the car with the boot open and the rope in his hand. The owner pushed him to the ground and held him there until police arrived.

Police found that Mould, who has a long-term drug addiction, had brought with him a bag of tools and had a lock knife in his pocket. He caused £500 worth of damage to the car window, a lock and a door handle.

Mould admitted the charges during a police interview, but said that he could not remember what had happened because the owner of the car had punched him.

During today’s sentencing hearing he was given a 12-month community order, including 12 months’ supervision and a four-month electronically-monitored curfew, and was ordered to attend a nine-month drug rehabilitation course and pay a victim surcharge of £60.

Judge Timothy Smith said: “You were equipped for stealing and that is what you went out to do.

“Carrying knives around also encourages violence and can lead to serious consequences.”

James McLernon, in mitigation, said his client had “an appalling record for dishonesty,” but needed intervention to stop offending, rather than another custodial sentence.

He said: “He has been involved in drug rehabilitation and has not had any for nine months.

“He wants to start a work experience programme so that he can renew his forklift licence and get back into work.”