Coventry hotel burglars jailed - The Coventry Observer

13th Aug, 2022

Coventry hotel burglars jailed

Editorial Correspondent 29th Oct, 2017 Updated: 31st Oct, 2017

THREE burglars who repeatedly targeted rooms occupied by staff at a Coventry hotel have been jailed by a judge at Warwick Crown Court.

Gary Lenton pleaded guilty to three charges of burglary, and Aaron Farrell to two charges, while James Radford had earlier admitted one burglary, handling stolen property and fraud.

Lenton, 39, of St Columba’s Close, Radford, Coventry – who the court heard was a ‘third strike’ burglar – was jailed for three years and four months.

Farrell, 37, of St James Lane, Coventry – who was on licence from an earlier prison sentence at the time – was jailed for two-and-a-half years.

And Radford, 50, of Kirby Close, Coventry – who was just two days into a suspended sentence for theft at the time of his involvement – was jailed for two years.

Prosecutor Carl Templar-Vasey said all the burglaries took place at the Days Hotel in Coventry, where the defendants targeted the staff accommodation.

On August 8 the duty manager was in a staff bedroom when a man walked in, apologised on seeing him there, and left – but later two other staff members found their mobile phones and a laptop had been taken from their rooms.

The hotel’s CCTV system was checked, and Lenton was identified as the man the duty manager had seen.

Eleven days later a man entered the hotel at lunchtime and stole a wallet, a watch, a gold chain and a ring from an employee’s room – and again CCTV showed the intruder to be Lenton.

All three defendants returned to the hotel on August 25, and at 6pm a member of staff was lying on his bed when someone came into his room, but quickly left on seeing him.

“He didn’t get a good look at the man, but suspected it might have something to do with the burglaries, so he went to investigate and heard a noise from another room.

“He opened the door to that room and saw two men, Radford and Farrell, so he shut the door and, with a colleague, held it shut,” said Mr Templar-Vasey.

“As he did so, he saw another man, Lenton, who he had seen there on August 8 and recognised him.

“He tried to trick him into remaining by asking him to help hold the door, but Lenton ran and was caught by another staff member.”

The police had been called, and Lenton was arrested, but when the door to the room was opened, it was found that Radford and Farrell had escaped through the window.

A few days later a Coventry woman cancelled her bank card after getting home to discover she had been burgled and her purse and a wallet had been stolen.

By then the card had been used to make purchases in various stores in the city – and at one there was a CCTV recording showing Radford using the card.

Mr Templar-Vasey said that back at the Days Hotel on September 4, Farrell was detained by a member of staff after he had been seen trying various doors in the staff quarters.

When he was arrested he claimed he was there to meet a woman, and denied having been there on August 25, but after also being arrested Radford admitted his involvement.

Lenton admitted carrying out the burglaries on August 8 and 19 to support his drug habit – but claimed that on the 25th he had gone along to show the other two ‘an easy target,’ but had not taken part himself.

The court heard that all three men committed the offences to get money to feed drug addictions, and Sukhdev Bisla, for Farrell, said: “When he’s desperate for drugs there is no planning – he just does the first thing that comes into his mind.”

Having read a letter from Lenton, Judge Andrew Lockhart QC told him: “You were in the grip of a drug addiction, and you have written a moving letter to me. Maybe you are going to turn the corner. God willing, that is the case.”

He added that the other two were also in the grip of drug addictions, with Farrell being ‘a person who needs and wants help,’ and Radford having ‘shown remorse’ for his actions.

Support community journalism by making a contribution.

The Coventry Observer's team of journalists provide a trusted source news, sport, entertainment and events going on in your area and issues which matter to you - both via our free weekly print edition and daily updates on our website.

Every contribution, however big or small, you can make will help us continue to do that now and in the future.

Thanks for reading this and the Coventry Observer.

Are you on Facebook?

Like or follow our Facebook page - facebook.com/CovObserver to get daily news updates straight to your news feed.

Public Notices

View and download all of the public notices in the Coventry Observer.

Book an Advert

Book your newspaper advert with our online advert creation tool.

Business Directory

From plumbers, to restaurants, we can provide you with all the info you need.

Property Finder 24/7

Search for properties in Worcestershire, Warwickshire and the West Midlands.