Heroin addict burgled student's room and sold £700 of stolen goods for just £35 - The Coventry Observer

12th Aug, 2022

Heroin addict burgled student's room and sold £700 of stolen goods for just £35

A HEROIN addict who burgled a student’s room because he was ‘rattling’ sold the property he stole for just £35 to buy more of the drug.

But Ashley Campbell was stopped and arrested in the street three weeks later after his fingerprint was found on a television he had moved but left behind.

Campbell (28) who is from Coventry but of no fixed address, was jailed for 12 months by a judge at Warwick Crown Court after pleading guilty to the burglary.

Prosecutor Philip Beardwell said that on April 15 a young man living in student accommodation in Gosford Street, Coventry, returned to his room to find it had been burgled.

His television had been moved by the burglar who had stolen property worth around £700 including a Playstation console and games, a pair of trainers and a watch.

Campbell’s fingerprint was found on the TV, and when he was stopped in the street three weeks later and arrested, he immediately admitted: “I did rob the place. It was for the Playstation. I was rattling with heroin.”

He explained that he was homeless and starving and, more importantly, needed heroin, which he bought after selling the items for just £35.

Mr Beardwell added that at the time Campbell was subject to an eight-week suspended sentence imposed by Coventry Magistrates in March for having a bladed article.

Asked whether he accepted being in breach of that, Campbell, who had sat crying in the dock, blurted out: “I’m sorry for what I’ve done. It will never happen again. I have changed.”

David Latham, defending, said: “He is a man who is illiterate. He’s a man who is emotional and very jumpy, which has not served him well over the last 22 days on remand at HMP Hewell, where he has experienced bullying.

“What he wants me to point out is that he has learnt his lesson. The days he’s spent in custody have been a salutary experience for him.

“He went into an insecure building and found an insecure room. At the time his life was in chaos.

“He had just been evicted from the accommodation he shared with his girlfriend, and he was hungry as well as needing to take drugs.”

Mr Latham said Campbell’s time inside had taken him away from drugs, and his girlfriend, who had thrown him out over his drug use, was willing to have him back at her home in Dunsmore Avenue.

But following an adjournment, he conceded that there was ‘no firm, accommodation address I can offer’ which could enable a community penalty to be imposed.

Jailing Campbell, Recorder Sam Mainds told him: “You burgled someone’s room, and you took his property, and you knew you should not do it.

“You were high at the time, but that is no excuse. Next time, just think about the individual concerned.

“There is nowhere for you to go. It’s not the fault of anyone in this courtroom, it’s the fault of others, so I have no alternative but to send you to prison.”

And after passing sentence, Recorder Mainds commented: “This is a dreadful indictment on our society. It is no better now than it was when I started. To send a man like this to prison is the last thing that should have been done.”

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