Burglar stole to fund ‘acute’ gambling habit
A Newmarket man responsible for a string of burglaries across two counties has been jailed.
Prolific burglar Nicholas Gallagher, 41, of Bill Rickaby Drive, was stealing to fund an acute gambling habit.
On Friday at Ipswich Crown Court, Gallagher was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment.
The court was told that Gallagher had been arrested after police matched his DNA to blood found at the scene of two of the burglaries they were investigating at an opticians in Halstead and at a house in Stoke by Clare.
Gallagher pleaded guilty to five offences of burglary and asked the court to take 34
similar offences into consideration.
Prosecutor Robert Sadd said Gallagher had burgled homes in Sudbury, Clare, Bury St Edmunds, Debenham and Stoke by Clare with his record of offending stretching as far back as 2004.
Between June and December last year Gallagher had burgled homes and businesses in Essex, targeting properties in Halstead, Earls Colne, Ridgewell, Sible and Castle Hedingham and Gosfield.
The court was told Gallagher’s crimes included stripping lead from the roof of the Co-op pharmacy in Halstead while his haul from other raids included antique toy soldiers, paintings, computers, jewellery and scrap metal.
Mitigating, Samantha Leigh told the court that Gallagher had initially started stealing to pay for drugs and alcohol but more recently his crimes had been committed to fund his chronic gambling habit.
Miss Leigh said that Gallagher had co-operated fully with the police and without his assistance it was likely that many of the offences he had admitted would have remained unsolved.
Recorder Craig Ferguson told Gallagher he had an “appalling” record of offending which involved dishonesty.
“You were active as a prolific burglar, invading the homes of members of the public who live in Suffolk and Essex,” he told him.
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Friday 24 May 2013
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