‘Please send me to prison’ pleads drug addict burglar

North Devon Magistrates Court, Barnstaple

North Devon Magistrates Court, Barnstaple - Credit: Archant

The 43-year-old receives 14 weeks in jail after trespassing at an Ilfracombe restaurant before turning himself in to police claiming ‘I’ve done something stupid’.

A MAN caught red-handed trespassing at a restaurant in Ilfracombe begged magistrates to be sent to prison for fear he would ‘do it again’.

Martin Murray, of Pebble Court, Ilfracombe, appeared in court on Friday charged with trespassing at The Terrace, Tapas and Wine Bar in Fore Street, Ilfracombe.

The 43-year-old, who has a long history of previous convictions for burglary offences, entered the restaurant when it was closed on the afternoon of April 4.

The owner had been sorting a delivery in the locked-up premises but left the kitchen door open when he left for a very short time to fetch in some more of the delivery.

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When he returned, the owner heard a creaking noise on the floor above, in the restaurant, and called out, to which Murray came down the stairs.

He had a mobile phone in his hand and claimed he had come to fetch it from someone called ‘Gavin’, said prosecutor Karen Ball.

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Knowing there was no one of that name working at the restaurant the owner tried to stop Murray from leaving the building but managed to grab his wallet with identification in as he fled.

However, Murray happened upon a PCSO in Oxford Grove and confessed he had ‘done something stupid’ and attempted a burglary.

Defence solicitor Tony Dart said he had been instructed by Murray to ask magistrates that he be sent down and that he would not comply with any other orders.

Mr Dart said his client had attempted to steal food from the restaurant because he was in a desperate situation.

The court heard Murray had a problem with drugs and had contacted The Quay Centre for help but believed prison was his only option.

“They told him they should be able to get him into hospital for a five-day detoxification programme in two months, but he says he is a problem waiting to happen,” said Mr Dart.

“He says prison is the only way he can be able to get himself clean.”

Magistrates sentenced Murray to 14 weeks in prison for the offence, due to his refusal to cooperate with any court order.

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