'Persistent burglar' who broke both ankles trying to escape South Yorkshire Police avoids jail

'Fate has treated you worse than I could,' a judge told a burglar who broke both of his ankles when he jumped from the roof of a South Yorkshire Tesco Express to escape police.
'Fate has treated you worse than I could,' a judge told a burglar who broke both of his ankles when he jumped from the roof of a South Yorkshire Tesco Express to escape police.
0
Have your say

'Fate has treated you far worse than I could,' a judge told a burglar who broke both of his ankles when he jumped from the roof of a South Yorkshire Tesco Express to escape police.

District Judge, Robert Moore, told Simon Harrow he would suspend his two year prison sentence for two years on account of his fall, which left the 37-year-old with life changing injuries.

He said: "Ordinarily you would be starting a lengthy prison sentence for these four offences. But fate has treated you far worse than I could do, so I'm going to give you the highest suspended sentence I can."

Harrow, who attended Wednesday's sentencing hearing in a wheelchair, admitted to four counts of burglary, relating to the crime spree, at an earlier hearing.

During the sentencing on Wednesday, Sheffield Crown Court was told how the first burglary Harrow committed was at a Rotherham infant and junior school on September 1 last year.

Nicola Quinney, prosecuting, said Harrow gained access to the building by breaking the main entrance door, and while he did not steal anything from the school he caused £800 of damage. Harrow's blood was found at the scene.

At around 3.15 am, Harrow broke into the Dearne Valley Leisure Centre where he was caught in the act by security guards, but fled the scene before they were able to apprehend him. Once again, Harrow's blood was found at the scene.

He struck again at the Monks Hill service station in Barnsley Road, Rotherham at 5.20am, when he demanded money from a shop worker.

Ms Quinney said: "The defendant demanded she open the till. She did as she was asked, and he asked her for the money from the till."

Harrow made away with £200 from the till, and left blood at the scene of the offence once more.

His final burglary was committed at a Rotherham Tesco Express that he gained access to through the vacant flat above it. Police were called to the premises after the alarm was activated, and found Harrow standing on the roof when they arrived.

Ms Quinney said: "He jumped down to escape, but broke both of his ankles."

Harrow was described as a persistent burglar by Ms Quinney, who told the court he was convicted of his first burglary offence when he was aged just 14-years-old.

Defending, Andrew Swaby, said: "I'm aware these are life changing injuries."

He added that Harrow should be given credit for his guilty pleas.