Prison for third-strike South Yorkshire burglar who's spent one third of his life behind bars

A South Yorkshire burglar who has spent one third of his 26 years behind bars was discovered in a woman's living room in the early hours of the morning, Sheffield Crown Court has heard.

Saturday, 27th February 2021, 4:22 pm

When the woman screamed Callum Armstrong fled from the living room of her home on Belmont Avenue, Doncaster, on April 29, 2020, said prosecutor Brian Outhwaite.

He took a wallet containing bank cards and left the woman and her family feeling "afraid and jumpy."

Armstrong stole cash from a house on Littlemoor Lane, Doncaster, at 3am on May 3, after smashing a panel in the kitchen door.

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Stock image of burglar.

On the same night, one hour later, he caused £200 of damage when he tried to gain access to a property on Abingdon Road, which was occupied by an elderly couple.

And half an hour later he was caught in a garden on the same road after breaking a window, initally telling police that he lived there and had been locked out.

The court heard he has "numerous offences of burglary" on his record between 2009 and 2018.

Cheryl Dudley, mitigating, said Armstrong is a "third strike burglar who knows custody is inevitable," and he was recalled to prison, last May.

"He would not have known of the particular circumstances of the victims," she said. “They were not targeted but he had no idea at the time.

"His mother has her own difficulties and his life has been very troubled and challenged."

Armstrong lived with his grandmother after he was released from prison last February, but lost a new job when his crimnal record was revealed, Ms Dudley said.

“He should have dealt with his problems rather than relapsing into drugs.”

She said that since the age of 15 Armstrong has been sentenced to the equivalent of 17 years in prison, and had served eight and a half years.

“He is instiutionalised,” she said. “He tells me he has some aspirations and intends to move away from the area and dissociate himself from some members of his family who are not positive influences. He is keen to know his fate.”

Armstrong, of Reresby Walk, Denaby Main, Doncaster, pleaded guilty to two counts of burglary, two counts of attempted burglary and one of car theft.

He told the court: “Throughout my life I have tried to change myself. But it is so easy to revert back to that way of life. When the police arrested me I could have got in that car and driven away and committed more offences.

“I smashed a window to wait for the police to arrest me. I was in a bad way. I don't want to commit crime. I can't keep doing this. I need things in place to help me when I am released.”

Judge David Dixon acknowledged that fact that Armstrong had asked for six more burglaries to be taken into account and said there was “no good reason for the delay” in bringing the case to court.

He sentenced him to 38 months at Sheffield Crown Court, on Thursday.

Read the latest cases from Sheffield Crown Court here.

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