Criminal with shocking record caused flood and £7,000 worth of damage in Hartlepool house burglary
A burglar with a shocking criminal record is facing a minimum three-year jail sentence after breaking into a house while the tenant was in prison.
Barry Jemmett, 39, admitted burgling the house in Dent Street, Hartlepool, and ripping out the boiler and copper piping causing almost £7,000 of damage.
Teesside Crown Court heard he has 196 offences on his record dating back to when he was a youth including 125 for theft and the like.
Jemmett is facing an automatic three years jail under the law as the latest burglary means he has committed three since 1999.
But sentencing was adjourned until next month as his lawyer aims to argue it would be “unjust” to do so.
The burglary in Dent Street was discovered in late March this year when the tenant returned after being released from prison.
The landlord went round and found the back door appeared to have been kicked in.
Prosecutor Jess Butterell said: “The offending involved theft causing a significant degree of economic loss to the victim.
"In addition, he described the property as being a mess and that there was significant damage caused by the removal of the pipes which led to a water leakage and further damage to his kitchen cupboards.”
The damage ran to £6,905.
Jemmett, of Arkley Crescent, denied being responsible when he was questioned by police but admitted it after he was shown photos of his blood on the wall where the boiler had been removed.
He said: “If I’ve been there I’m sorry.”
He qualifies as a “third strike” burglar after committing burglaries in 2003 and 2006.
The court heard he was under the influence of drugs at the time of the latest break-in but is now drug free and in supported accommodation.
Daniel Penman, defending, said: “Mr Jemmett, quite frankly, has the opportunity to break the habit of a lifetime.”
Judge Timothy Stead agreed to adjourn the case until January 28 for a report.
He told Jemmett: “I have not made my mind up yet. This could go one way or the other.
"If the court can’t certify that it would be unjust to imprison you then I’m afraid it’s a minimum of 876 days.”