Burglar jailed after ‘You’re being robbed!’ taunt

Leigh Smith.
Leigh Smith.
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A burglar caught red-handed stealing a man’s TV set told him “You’re being robbed!” then rammed into his car to get away.

Leigh Smith was jailed after Michael Charlton came home from shopping to find the burglar parked in his own driveway and leaving his house with the 50” television.

Smith then reversed his car into Mr Charlton’s in the driveway, ramming it aside in an attempt to flee the scene.

But the quick-thinking householder snatched his TV out of the open boot as Smith sped away.

Mr Charlton had returned home to find Smith’s car parked in his drive on Coniston Road in Lancaster.

He pulled up and parked behind the vehicle, blocking it in, but as he got out of his car he saw Smith, 30, coming from the back of the house carrying the TV set.

Mr Charlton asked what was going on, to which Smith replied: “You’re being robbed!”

The vehicle was later found abandoned on Langdale Road.

Preston Crown Court heard Smith, of Binyon Court, Lancaster, had a long term drug addiction and had been in rehab when he learned members of his family were being threatened by criminals recently released from jail.

Smith had committed the burglary to pay the men off, the court heard.

The car Smith was driving during the burglary was found to have Smith’s fingerprints on the rear view mirror.

A games console which had been stolen from Mr Charlton’s house was found in the car - also carrying Smith’s 
fingerprints.

Smith pleaded guilty to burglary and dangerous driving.

The court heard he has nine previous convictions for burglary, including seven from domestic properties.

Judge Phillip Sycamore, sentencing, said: “You were in the process of loading the car.

The TV was in the process of being loaded when the householder arrived.

“He retrieved the TV but you then drove the car with such force that it moved the householder’s car - which was blocking your way - and made good your escape.”

He jailed Smith for 876 days for burglary, with two months concurrent for dangerous driving.

The judge also activated nine months of a suspended sentence Smith was serving at the time of the offence.