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Home   Medway   News   Article

Margate burglar Bradley Linnell caught after raiding British Heart Foundation charity shop and leaving balaclava behind

23 February 2014
by Paul Hooper

Bungling burglar Bradley Linnell raided a charity shop where he had been sent to do unpaid work for the community.

But the 19-year-old left a clue for police when he carted off £2,200 of electrical items from the Margate shop - his balaclava.

Now a judge has heard how the teenager has bagged a plum job in prison... putting tea bags into cups.

Burglar Bradley Linnell has been locked up for two years

Burglar Bradley Linnell has been locked up for two years

His barrister Simon Taylor told Canterbury Crown Court the role was "much coveted" in prison.

Linnell, of Cedar Close, Margate, had been remanded in custody after being convicted by a jury of the burglary by a jury at Canterbury Crown Court.

They heard how he had been sent to the British Heart Foundation charity shop in Margate as part of the punishment for previous offences.

"He has a job in prison, effectively inserting tea bags in cups and, perhaps as dull as that sounds and he deserves it as part of his punishment, but it is still a position that is much coveted inside prison..." - Simon Taylor, defending

Prosecutor Iestyn Morgan said that over the night of June 12 last year, the shop was broken into and items - including a large TV - were stolen.

Linnell, who has previous convictions for arson, burglary, causing criminal damage and stealing from cars, had been placed at the charity shop to do his unpaid community work, as had other convicted youngsters.

One of the shop volunteers had locked up the shop before Linnell struck.

"The following morning it was discovered that Linnell's balaclava was found there on the floor," Mr Morgan added. "It went away for forensic analysis and his DNA was found on it.

"Linnell claimed he had used the balaclava to go fishing - but other volunteers revealed they had never before seen the youngster wearing one."

Mr Taylor said the teenager still denies carrying out the raid despite the jury's decision.

He added: "He has a job in prison, effectively inserting tea bags in cups and, perhaps as dull as that sounds and he deserves it as part of his punishment, but it is still a position that is much coveted inside prison.

"It also shows he is capable of doing something positive and worthwhile."

Judge James O'Mahony

Judge James O'Mahony passed sentence

Judge James O'Mahony sent Linnell to a young offenders' institution for two years, telling him: "You are only 19, but you have already acquired something of a criminal record.

"And you have now committed an offence which is a very unpleasant one in the sense that this was a charity shop. You were given the opportunity to work there - despite them knowing of your past.

"That was a breach of trust and you have shown no remorse."

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