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Swindon burglar finally in jail after 134 thefts
8:00pm Wednesday 20th March 2013 in News
A BURGLAR who was told “this is absolutely your last chance” when he escaped being sent to jail last year is finally behind bars.
Alan Harris was warned his fate was in his own hands when a judge told him courts couldn’t go on taking chances for people who would not play their part.
But the 38-year-old, who has 134 previous convictions, missed numerous probation meetings and failed to turn up for the thinking skills programme.
And when the probation service phoned and asked his girlfriend if they could speak to him, he was heard in the background shouting “tell them to **** off.”
Jack Rundall, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court Harris was put on the nine-month jail term, suspended for a year, in October last year.
Although he missed a number of appointments with his probation officer they were keen for him to go on the thinking skills programme.
However, he turned up late for one meeting, missed another, and stormed out of a third.
After missing another meeting he was asked to contact his offender manager, which he failed to do,then the phone call took place where he was heard shouting abuse.
Harris, of Minety Road, Penhill, admitted being in breach of a suspended sentence by failing to attend as directed.
He had been given the order after admitting burgling a house which was being renovated and taking a boiler, radiators and tools worth thousands of pounds.
Rob Ross, defending, said his client was a loner who had problems dealing with group work sessions.
He asked for the case to be adjourned to see if the probation service could come up with a different plan, involving one-on-one work, which better suited his client.
At the time of the offending he said Harris was addicted to drugs but since his arrest had sought help to get clean.
He said he was living with his partner and her autistic child and was also unsettled by not being able to have contact with his own child from a previous relationship.
Judge Euan Ambrose told him: “The simple fact is I must activate this sentence unless it will be unjust to do so.
“There has been no meaningful work done in this sentence therefore it will be activated in full.
“You have 134 offences against your name: you were fortunate to get a suspended sentence.”