Tuesday 13 November 2012 Updated: 14/11 12:28
A DRUG addict repaid the kindness of a woman who gave him money and a warm jacket by trying to break into her home in the middle of the night.
Anthony Russell, of no fixed address, but previously of Cameila Road in Coventry, pleaded guilty to attempted burglary, two charges of burglary and asked for two more burglaries to be taken into consideration.
Judge Alan Parker jailed the 30-year-old for two-and-a-half years after rejecting his astonishing plea to be given a three-year sentence.
Samantha Forsyth, defending, said since being remanded in custody Russell had gone onto a drug-free wing in prison and was being treated for his addiction.
She said he wanted to be jailed for three years as it would mean he would serve at least 18 months and therefore qualify for access to help to beat his drug habit.
But Judge Parker told him: "I am perfectly willing to send you to prison for as long as I can justify, but I can’t actually say this would have justified four-and-a-half years."
Warwick Crown Court heard before Christmas last year a woman came across Russell while he was begging in Leamington town centre.
After hearing his story of hardship at his supposed desired to get back to the Isle of Wight where he said he was from, she took pity on him.
She took him back to her home in the town where, as he waited in the porch with her son, she went inside to get something for him to eat and drink.
The sympathetic woman also gave Russell a warm jacket and £100 in £20 notes, only for him to return later bizarrely claiming it was not legal tender.
She then drove him to Leamington railway station where she had intended to buy him a train ticket, but the booking office was closed so they went back to her home where Russell collected his bicycle and rode away.
But nine months later, in the early hours of August 26 this year, while the woman’s husband was in hospital undergoing a double lung transplant, Russell returned to the house and tried to break in.
He forced a window, but was unable to open an internal shutter so tried another window but was again unable to get in.
Russell was arrested after his fingerprints were found on one of the windows, but was granted bail only to be arrested in early October after breaking into three houses in Nuneaton and one in Hinckley.
Judge Parker told him: "It defies belief you could treat such kind people in such a contemptible way."
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