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Jail for career criminal who even burgled defence lawyer’s office

Career criminal Sinclair Fox has burgled so many places in his 40-plus years of crime that he’d even targeted the office of a lawyer who defended him.

While Fox was being sentenced at Magistrates’ Court for two burglaries at a Hamilton restaurant, lawyer Leo Mills revealed he’d once broken into his own office on Christmas Day.

The court heard that in the latest case Fox, 64, broke into the Cafe 4 restaurant in the Windsor Mall during the night on February 5 and again on February 15. Over the course of the two burglaries he stole six bottles of liquor and five bottles of wine worth a total of $250.

He was picked up on CCTV cameras committing both crimes. It later emerged he had forced his way into the mall through the Queen Street entrance.

Prosecutor Carrington Mahoney said Fox has a “multitude of previous convictions for burglary and dishonesty offences starting from 1969”.

Mr Mills then listed a litany of previous convictions for which Fox had received prison sentences and suspended sentences. This caused Senior Magistrate Archibald Warner to say: “He thinks he can walk around all of the businesses in town and take what he wants, especially at night.”

Mr Warner noted Fox had even targeted Mr Mills’ office at the Trott and Duncan law firm one Christmas Day, with Mr Mills replying that the incident interrupted his Christmas dinner.

He said Fox has a problem with alcohol and a treatment programme might be more helpful than prison. However, Mr Warner rejected that idea, telling Fox: “It’s over and over. I don’t think you're going to stop until you're ready.”

He jailed him for three months in total for both burglaries at Cafe 4. Asked afterwards to explain about his own encounter with Fox, Mr Mills revealed: “He broke into the offices of Trott and Duncan on Christmas Day 2006 and I was the counsel called out to deal with it.”

He explained that at first he thought the burglar alarm had gone off by accident. But when he went back a second time, he found Fox hiding in the offices.

“He said ‘Mr Mills, can you please help me get out’?” recalled the lawyer. I told him “No, you will have to wait until the police get here.”

Mr Mills observed: “Sometimes the truth can be stranger than fiction.”

Fox was locked up for two years for the law firm break in.

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Published February 27, 2012 at 12:19 pm (Updated February 27, 2012 at 12:18 pm)

Jail for career criminal who even burgled defence lawyer’s office

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