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Man admits burglary while on probation

A man who admitted breaking into a home while on probation has been jailed for 15 months.

Vincent Burch, 41, pleaded guilty in Magistrates’ Court this morning to a charge of entering a Middle Road, Southampton home and stealing $5,360 of items in an incident last Wednesday.

The court heard that the complainant had left his home locked up that morning, but at 1.06pm he received an alert on his phone from his security system cautioning him that movement inside the property had been detected. He subsequently contacted his parents and returned home, where his parents and police had already arrived.

The security system captured a picture of the suspect, who was wearing a white shirt and gloves.

A subsequent search of the area revealed a motorcycle linked to Burch in a nearby bus lay-by. He was later spotted near the junction of Church Road and Middle Road and was questioned.

He later admitted committing the burglary and brought officers to where he had stashed the stolen items, including a wallet, an engagement ring, a pendant and a £10 note. A pair of white gloves were found with the items.

During the investigation officers discovered that Burch was already on probation for similar offences and had been ordered to wear an electronic monitoring device but he was not wearing it. Asked about the device, Burch said that he had it on earlier in the day when he went to visit his probation officer, but took it off afterward.

Prosecutor Maria Sofianos said that given the circumstances Burch did not appear to be a suitable candidate for a community-based sentence, noting that Burch appeared before the courts earlier this month to be warned about probation breaches.

Duty counsel Kenrick James however requested the court to consider the fact that Burch had assisted police with their investigation, suggesting that a social inquiry report could be useful in determining an appropriate sentence.

Magistrate Khamisi Tokunbo responded that such a report would be a waste of resources as Burch had already demonstrated that a probation order would not be sufficient.

Burch meanwhile apologised to the court, saying: “I accept my responsibility. I want to man up and move forward.”

Mr Tokunbo sentenced Burch to 15 months in prison, ordering that the two-year probation period for his previous offences be suspended and resume upon his release.

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