Burglar goes on tour to start afresh

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A BURGLAR with a conscience has been spared jail after taking police on a tour of his crimes.

Detectives had nothing to link Richard Paul Benson with a spate of break-ins in the Wheatley area until he decided to clear his slate, a court heard.

The judge at Doncaster Crown Court said he deserved the maximum credit for his co-operation with the police and imposed a 12 months’ community sentence on the 23-year-old.

Benson, of Norborough Road, Wheatley, pleaded guilty to one house burglary.

He asked for four other offences to be taken into consideration.

Benson has been ordered to complete 150 hours of unpaid work for the community.

He must pay £310 compensation to the burglary victim, Dawn Bath. She discovered the garage of her home on Ferrers Road had been entered last November when she went to work and realised the light was switched on.

A DVD player and monitor had been stolen and £900 worth of damage caused to the garage door, said Brian Outhwaite, prosecuting.

Mr Outhwaite said the defendant came to the attention of the police when he made contact with an officer and arranged to meet them in Church View, Doncaster.

“He then went in the police car and pointed out a number of offences he had committed, which he did as a voluntary exercise.But for the defendant’s co-operation this offending may never have come to light.”

The other offences were three thefts and one of interfering with a motor vehicle.

Benson had previous convictions for dishonesty since 2005 but none for house burglary in the past.

Ged Hale, defending, said the offences were committed out of necessity to buy food when he and his partner had no income.

The couple had lost a baby four days after birth last year but she is now expecting another child.

Judge Jacqueline Davies said: “The offences came to be detected entirely as a result of you going to the police and telling them what you had done. That enables me to impose a community sentence.”