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Jail for addict who burgled Wetherspoon pub Sir Norman Wisdom in Deal

A drug addict claimed he burgled a JD Wetherspoon pub because “he wanted to get caught” despite trying to evade officers in the dark.

Richard Holdsworth’s bemusing excuse was torpedoed by a judge after it emerged the crook tried fleeing Deal’s Sir Norman Wisdom after alarms sounded.

Richard Holdsworth
Richard Holdsworth

“If someone carries out the crime at night and tries to jump in a van to get away, it isn’t characteristic of someone who wants to get caught, is it?” Judge Rupert Lowe remarked.

The judge heard Holdsworth, 51, caused £1,000 worth of damage to steal £53 from a fruit machine on January 2.

However, the blundered break-in triggered a police response where officers caught him in the act.

Prosecutor Caroline Knight today described how shrewd cops initially found no sign of Holdsworth at the scene.

They discovered his transit van unlocked, with the doors open and ready to be loaded - and so they removed the keys from the ignition.

Holdsworth soon emerged from the pub carrying a hammer alongside an unknown male who fled the scene.

When Holdsworth tried jumping in the van to evade arrest he swiftly realised he’d been outwitted and was arrested.

Ms Knight explained a damaged fruit machine, which was burgled of £53, was discovered in the pub garden.

Damage, loss of earnings and repairs cost the company about £1,000 the barrister told Canterbury Crown Court.

“In police interview Holdsworth said he had taken a lot of pills and wanted to go back to prison,” Ms Knight said.

The court heard “heavily convicted” Holdsworth, who has 13 burglaries in 74 previous offences, was intoxicated at the time of the raid.

Phil Rowley, mitigating, pointed out Holdsworth made early guilty pleas and carried out the crime after relapsing into drugs following a close family member’s death.

He has been battling heroin addiction for much of his life after being introduced to the drug as an adolescent, the court heard.

Holdsworth, formerly of Beech Street in Deal, was convicted of burglary other than a dwelling on September 4 and jailed for two years.

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