Wellingborough burglar who has spent 'half his life' in prison given another chance after stealing coats to keep warm

He's committed 75 offences but a judge said he saw 'green shoots of recovery'

Sunday, 23rd May 2021, 10:00 am
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A Wellingborough man caught stealing coats out of a front porch to keep him warm has avoided going to prison under the 'three strikes' rule.

Richard Normoyle, 50, was caught on CCTV entering the unlocked porch of a house in Doddington Road, Wellingborough, in November last year and taking two coats.

Northampton Crown Court heard on Friday (May 21) that Normoyle had just been released from prison and was cold so took the coats to keep warm.

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He had 35 convictions for 75 offences stretching back many years including several for burglary.

The court was told that sentencing guidelines meant that he should be given three years in prison as a starting point under the 'three strikes' rule.

But his barrister, Subagarey Pathmanathan, argued that her client had new accommodation and had begun to rebuild his life.

"This was a low level, unplanned and opportunistic crime," she said.

"He had no clothes at the time of the offence. It was a November night and he took them to get warm. He's described his actions as 'completely stupid'.

"He wants to draw a line under his offending. He's frankly too old to continue. His pivotal moment was his 50th birthday.

"He's spent half of his life in custody and he does deeply regret his offences."

Sentencing him to an 18-month prison sentence, suspended for two year, and a three month 9pm to 7am curfew order, Judge Rupert Mayo said: "You're 50 now. You're officially an old man.

"Now that you're old officially you will find other ways of coping with the difficulties of life.

"I see strong, green shoots of recovery.

"I think it's important you spend the evenings at home, not out scoring drugs or burgling."

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