‘Professional’ thief jailed after Earls Barton break-in

Philip Allan, 47, appeared at Northampton Crown Court

Philip Allan, 47, appeared at Northampton Crown Court

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A burglar who stole thousands of pounds from a social club in Earls Barton after he deactivated the alarm system has been jailed for 22 months.

Philip Allan, 47, appeared at Northampton Crown Court on Friday and was sent to prison after Recorder Adrian Redgrave said his theft was carried out in a ‘professional’ manner.

The court was told staff at the Earls Barton Silver Band Club discovered the break-in in November 2011 after they had locked up the premises the night before.

A fruit machine had been broken open and cash was taken from a safe.

The police later discovered that magnetic strips which were supposed to activate the building’s alarm had been removed.

In all, about £3,900 in cash was stolen, £300 of alcohol was taken or damaged and there was a repair bill for a further £1,000.

The club’s insurers refused to pay out for the theft because, the court was told, the firm said club staff should have noticed that the alarm system had been tampered with.

The court was told Allan had a long record of committing burglaries and had been handed a six-year sentence in 2008 for a string of burglaries at social clubs where alarms had been tampered with.

The court heard that police caught Allan because had left DNA at the scene.

In mitigation, Allan’s barrister said the convicted burglar had been trying to get his life back on track since being arrested for the Earls Barton break-in.

He said that Allan had secured full-time work and his employer had given him positive references.

However, Recorder Redgrave said that Allan had been ‘burgling social clubs for years’.

He added: “A theft and repair bill of more than £5,000 would be very serious for a social club of this size.

“The break-in was carried out in a professional manner and I am wholly satisfied that it was also you who bypassed the alarm.”

Recorder Redgrave said he gave Allan, currently living in Morecambe, some credit for his efforts to get his life back on track.

He added: “You have shown some remorse but I must jail you for 22 months.”