Businessman jailed for planned burglary

Businessman jailed for planned burglary

Businessman jailed for planned burglary

First published in News by

A FORMER haulage business owner has been jailed for burgling a house of goods worth more than £17,000 while the occupants slept upstairs.

John Harrison, 41, of Berkeley Gardens, Leigh, who had been sent a good luck message as he set off for his raid on May 2, admitted theft and burgling the five-bedroom detached house in Woodlands Park, Leigh.

Harrison, who appeared at Southend Crown Court, has battled drug and alcohol addiction and suffers from depression.

He got in through a garage door and stole golf clubs and items including a PlayStation, laptops and a handbag. He also took keys to the homeowner’s Volkswagen Golf, worth £11,000, which he also stole.

Police spotted Harrison walking down the street in the early hours of the morning with a blue container holding some of the loot, plus a penknife and a headtorch, and arrested him. They later found a silver Nokia phone with a text wishing him good luck. The message read: “Good luck. Be careful but be lucky. God knows we need it.

“If you don’t have any joy getting in anywhere good in the next two hours, do what we usually say and come home because you say there’s no point in being out all night being useless tomorrow if it’s for nothing.

Love you.”

Charlotte Davison, prosecuting, said: “The text message clearly shows this was a planned enterprise.”

The court heard Harrison had previously stolen CCTV equipment worth £150 from a shed last May and was put on a community order which he broke by stealing CDs and DVDs last October. He was put on another order which he also broke for failing to attend appointments.

MatthewBone, mitigating, said this was probably to fuel his drug and alcohol addiction. He said: “This isaman with a pretty good start in life. He had opportunities to play golf professionally, was offered a scholarship to do with basketball training in the USA.

“For many years he led a lawabiding life. Between 2002 and 2013, there were no offences committed and he was operating a very successful haulage company.

“He battled with alcohol, drugs and depression which have brought him to this lowest point in his life.”

Judge Derek Schofield sentenced Harrison to 20 months in prison, and to serve a minimum of ten. He was ordered to pay a £100 victim surcharge. The judge said as the burglary was planned and two community orders had been broken, he had to impose an immediate custodial sentence.

Comments (16)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

10:44am Thu 19 Jun 14

Robin Reliant says...

Down on his luck so thought he would ruin other peoples lives too, the person sending the text is not much better either.
Down on his luck so thought he would ruin other peoples lives too, the person sending the text is not much better either. Robin Reliant
  • Score: 19

11:18am Thu 19 Jun 14

Minceir. says...

It sounds as though this man had the sort of opportunities millions in this country could only dream of. There are a few indications in the report that he may have been a naughty boy in the past and it may well be (I don't know but I've seen similar scenarios before) that his "Very successful" business was built from the proceeds. I dare say he lived large during the good years. Anyway, the business was clearly not successful enough for him. Perhaps he'll do his time and emerge a better and humbler person and perhaps the Queen will abdicate tomorrow.
It sounds as though this man had the sort of opportunities millions in this country could only dream of. There are a few indications in the report that he may have been a naughty boy in the past and it may well be (I don't know but I've seen similar scenarios before) that his "Very successful" business was built from the proceeds. I dare say he lived large during the good years. Anyway, the business was clearly not successful enough for him. Perhaps he'll do his time and emerge a better and humbler person and perhaps the Queen will abdicate tomorrow. Minceir.
  • Score: 12

11:41am Thu 19 Jun 14

CarnMountification says...

Shame his accomplice, didn't get a prison sentence as well, never mind, we know they are utter scum.
Shame his accomplice, didn't get a prison sentence as well, never mind, we know they are utter scum. CarnMountification
  • Score: 10

12:09pm Thu 19 Jun 14

John Right says...

Nice place to live Berkeley Gardens, Leigh, though after prison, the caravan awaits, at Thorney Bay, where he can relax on that stolen deck chair, and reflest on his high end living..
Nice place to live Berkeley Gardens, Leigh, though after prison, the caravan awaits, at Thorney Bay, where he can relax on that stolen deck chair, and reflest on his high end living.. John Right
  • Score: 7

1:03pm Thu 19 Jun 14

pembury53 says...

John Right wrote:
Nice place to live Berkeley Gardens, Leigh, though after prison, the caravan awaits, at Thorney Bay, where he can relax on that stolen deck chair, and reflest on his high end living..
yes, from high end leigh dweller, to thorney bay inmate...... if he's depressed now.......
[quote][p][bold]John Right[/bold] wrote: Nice place to live Berkeley Gardens, Leigh, though after prison, the caravan awaits, at Thorney Bay, where he can relax on that stolen deck chair, and reflest on his high end living..[/p][/quote]yes, from high end leigh dweller, to thorney bay inmate...... if he's depressed now....... pembury53
  • Score: 6

1:43pm Thu 19 Jun 14

MarcelloM says...

You have to pity the man and his accomplice. Crooks like this need help, not locking up.
You have to pity the man and his accomplice. Crooks like this need help, not locking up. MarcelloM
  • Score: -10

4:44pm Thu 19 Jun 14

Bernard Fatsack says...

This is a friend of mine ruined by heroin, he was a good man once driven to desperate measures by that evil drug. I hope he does not descend further inside.
This is a friend of mine ruined by heroin, he was a good man once driven to desperate measures by that evil drug. I hope he does not descend further inside. Bernard Fatsack
  • Score: -2

4:46pm Thu 19 Jun 14

Bernard Fatsack says...

Berkeley gardens was his parents house, he only lived there and did not own it. He lost everything. I pity him and wish him strength to change
Berkeley gardens was his parents house, he only lived there and did not own it. He lost everything. I pity him and wish him strength to change Bernard Fatsack
  • Score: -5

4:49pm Thu 19 Jun 14

MilesBond says...

Amazing insight in to how these people live i.e. a text from the missus egging you on to rob someone! Morals lower than a snake's belly.
Amazing insight in to how these people live i.e. a text from the missus egging you on to rob someone! Morals lower than a snake's belly. MilesBond
  • Score: 6

4:52pm Thu 19 Jun 14

MilesBond says...

Bernard Fatsack wrote:
This is a friend of mine ruined by heroin, he was a good man once driven to desperate measures by that evil drug. I hope he does not descend further inside.
Ah! Heroin. That'll do it every time sadly :(
[quote][p][bold]Bernard Fatsack[/bold] wrote: This is a friend of mine ruined by heroin, he was a good man once driven to desperate measures by that evil drug. I hope he does not descend further inside.[/p][/quote]Ah! Heroin. That'll do it every time sadly :( MilesBond
  • Score: -2

4:53pm Thu 19 Jun 14

Bernard Fatsack says...

MilesBond wrote:
Amazing insight in to how these people live i.e. a text from the missus egging you on to rob someone! Morals lower than a snake's belly.
I dont think she helped his cause more the problem
[quote][p][bold]MilesBond[/bold] wrote: Amazing insight in to how these people live i.e. a text from the missus egging you on to rob someone! Morals lower than a snake's belly.[/p][/quote]I dont think she helped his cause more the problem Bernard Fatsack
  • Score: 1

4:53pm Thu 19 Jun 14

Nowthatsworthknowing says...

Bernard Fatsack wrote:
Berkeley gardens was his parents house, he only lived there and did not own it. He lost everything. I pity him and wish him strength to change
Pity this vile scum ? have you ever been burgled ?
[quote][p][bold]Bernard Fatsack[/bold] wrote: Berkeley gardens was his parents house, he only lived there and did not own it. He lost everything. I pity him and wish him strength to change[/p][/quote]Pity this vile scum ? have you ever been burgled ? Nowthatsworthknowing
  • Score: 9

4:55pm Thu 19 Jun 14

Nowthatsworthknowing says...

Bernard Fatsack wrote:
This is a friend of mine ruined by heroin, he was a good man once driven to desperate measures by that evil drug. I hope he does not descend further inside.
Pick your friends wisely, but please don't defend this utter disgrace, without becoming something similar yourself.
[quote][p][bold]Bernard Fatsack[/bold] wrote: This is a friend of mine ruined by heroin, he was a good man once driven to desperate measures by that evil drug. I hope he does not descend further inside.[/p][/quote]Pick your friends wisely, but please don't defend this utter disgrace, without becoming something similar yourself. Nowthatsworthknowing
  • Score: 4

6:20pm Thu 19 Jun 14

andyman1971 says...

All the comments are understandable but I think our attention should be directed to the poor victims who had to endure this awful crime made even worse as they were in bed at the time when he entered. My thoughts are with the victims, I just hope they have strength to get over this awful crime
All the comments are understandable but I think our attention should be directed to the poor victims who had to endure this awful crime made even worse as they were in bed at the time when he entered. My thoughts are with the victims, I just hope they have strength to get over this awful crime andyman1971
  • Score: 5

7:57pm Thu 19 Jun 14

sesibollox says...

Burglary is a despicable crime, drug use never an excuse, sick and tired of hearing of the cries from those committing such crimes.
Burglary is a despicable crime, drug use never an excuse, sick and tired of hearing of the cries from those committing such crimes. sesibollox
  • Score: 4

7:22am Sun 22 Jun 14

alarminstaller says...

The victim of the burglary should now take out a private action even though he allegedly has no money.

Berkeley Gardens is a road of nice properties, if this thief does have equity in a property there it would be worth putting a charge on that property at the land registry which would mean if there was any equity the charge must be paid before any sale or even change of ownership is allowed.

The agony and stress that would have been caused to the victim should also be inflicted on the thief and the person sending text messages who obviously encouraged criminality.

My only concern is the sentence and the policy of halving all sentences that is clearly not working, if sentenced to 20 months he should do 20 months not 10 months.
The victim of the burglary should now take out a private action even though he allegedly has no money. Berkeley Gardens is a road of nice properties, if this thief does have equity in a property there it would be worth putting a charge on that property at the land registry which would mean if there was any equity the charge must be paid before any sale or even change of ownership is allowed. The agony and stress that would have been caused to the victim should also be inflicted on the thief and the person sending text messages who obviously encouraged criminality. My only concern is the sentence and the policy of halving all sentences that is clearly not working, if sentenced to 20 months he should do 20 months not 10 months. alarminstaller
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree