A PERSISTENT Carlisle burglar caught red-handed on camera as he tried to break into a city home has been jailed for three years.
Drug-using James Tweedy, 41, failed in his bid to sneak into the Watermans Walk property on the Garlands estate at 4-34am on June 4.
It was left secure while the occupants were away. Their home security was bolstered by a CCTV recording system which they viewed after returning and hearing a gate was seen open.
This showed Tweedy visibly trying in vain to open locked patio doors before walking away. After police were alerted to the CCTV find, two experienced officers who viewed footage said they were “100 per cent” sure the man was Tweedy, whom they knew.
When police caught up with him at his temporary Fusehill Street home on June 9 he was hiding in a wardrobe. Despite damning evidence, Tweedy denied attempted burglary but was convicted, unanimously, after a Carlisle Crown Court trial.
Jurors heard Tweedy had 18 previous break-in convictions, plus one for an attempt, and had been described by police as “one of Carlisle’s persistent burglars”.
Judge Nicholas Barker jailed Tweedy for three years, telling jurors who saw him sentenced: “The courts are left with no other option but to lock him up to ensure your houses are safe at night and in the early hours of the morning.”
Speaking afterwards, Detective Constable Mike Gilsenan said: “Cumbria Police welcomes what is a significant sentence for a prolific burglar.
“The CCTV assisted detectives in investigating the offence and helped bring Tweedy to justice.
“Burglary is an offence which can have a devastating impact on a victim so I hope today’s sentencing sends out a strong message that anyone committing such offences can expect to be caught and held accountable for their crimes.”