A PENRITH pub burglar snared after the business owner turned amateur detective and carried out his own probe has been jailed.
Valium addict Andrew Paul Hall, 37, smashed his way into the Robin Hood, King Street, during the early hours of December 3, snatching £132 worth of spirits, £90 cash, and leaving a damage trail in his wake before fleeing.
But pub owner Craig Creegan was quickly on the case, heading into the town centre with stills from the pub’s CCTV system which captured the crook’s face.
These were shown to a neighbouring businesswoman, who “immediately and unhesitatingly” identified Hall, Carlisle Crown Court heard. She’d also spoken of seeing a man carrying a bin containing “clanking”bottles at 6am, but hadn’t realised at the time it was him.
She had known Hall for years and talked with him several hours after the raid, which the pair discussed. “I do silly stuff when I am on Valium, but it wasn’t me,” Hall had insisted.
But he was also identified as the break-in culprit by a pub customer, arrested and admitted a burglary charge when he appeared in court earlier today (MON).
David Wales, defending, said Hall had been left homeless and without assistance after being released from a previous prison term. Hall believed he had “no other option” but to commit the crime to ensure he would be kept in custody over the Christmas period, and had stolen goods he could sell to raise cash for more Valium.
Hall, previously of Prince Charles Close, Penrith, was jailed for nine months by Judge Peter Davies.