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Judge brands burglar Thomas O'Leary a 'menace to society'
A REPEAT burglar was branded “a menace to society” by a judge as he jailed the serial offender for four years.
Winchester Crown Court heard Thomas O’Leary had 26 convictions for 77 offences, many of which were house burglaries. He appeared in court under the “three-strike” rule, where criminals who break into private homes three times can expect a three-year prison sentence.
O’Leary, 40, of no fixed abode, appeared at Winchester Crown Court for sentence having pleaded guilty to two counts of house burglary, and having asked for two others to be taken into consideration.
Eleanor Fargin, prosecuting, said the first burglary took place in Baynard Close, South View, Basingstoke, at the three-storey home of Susan Harris.
She told how Mrs Harris’ husband woke at 4.30am to find the ground floor in a mess and bottles of alcohol taken from a shed scattered in their garden.
Miss Fargin said O’Leary then entered the home of Kelly Gaines, in South View, Basingstoke. She added: “She is a single parent who was woken by a male standing on her landing. She screamed and the male ran off.”
The victim discovered that O’Leary had taken a buggy and a bag from her home.
A neighbour of Miss Gaines saw a man climbing over a garden fence at 5.20am, wearing a t-shirt with a 333 logo on it.
Miss Fargin said: “The police were unable to locate a suspect that evening.
“In an unrelated incident on July 27, an officer spotted the defendant wearing a T-shirt with the 333 logo. He was arrested on suspicion of these burglaries.”
Lance Whiteford, defending, said O’Leary’s only mitigation was his early guilty plea, and his admission of two other house burglaries that would otherwise have gone unsolved.
Calling O’Leary a “menace to society”, who had seemingly disregarded previous burglary prison terms he had received, Judge Peter Ralls sentenced him to a total of four years in prison.
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