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Bender leads to time in jail for Calne man
4:00pm Saturday 1st September 2012 in News
A MAN who went on an crime spree after taking 50 Valium and drinking has been jailed for three years after a judge told him “the public needs protection”.
Benjamin Fernandez, 29, of The Knapp, Calne, burgled a garage, tried to break into another as well as a house, all of elderly people, as he searched for alcohol to steal during the night of crime.
But after hearing that drugs were behind the offences, a judge sitting at Swindon Crown Court jailed him to allow him to get clean and to protect the public.
Claire Marlow, prosecuting, told how a few weeks before the night of crime he was one of three men who got a taxi from Bath to Phoenix Close in Chippenham. After agreeing the £32 fare he gave the cabbie a bank card saying “hold on to this while I go get the cash off my missus”, but he never returned.
Miss Marlow said on March 2 into the early hours of the following morning he tried to carry out a string of break-ins.
She said a prowler was seen on Walter Sutton Close as he tried to get into a garage adjoining a house on the road. And the following morning it transpired he had got into the garage of a property on nearby Sarum Way and gone through the freezer in it, leaving the door open.
He had also tried to hot wire a car in another garage and got a spade out of another to try and break into a house on Walter Sutton Close.
The court was told he also got into a caravan parked nearby and urinated, damaging mats inside the vehicle.
When he was questioned he told the police he had taken 50 Valium pills over the past few days and also consumed eight pints of strong alcohol on the night of offending.
Fernandez admitted burglary, attempted burglary, attempted theft of a car, criminal damage, making off without payment and shoplifting from B&Q.
Giles Nelson, defending, said he had shown potential when he was younger, qualifying as a plumber and setting up in business before falling into the grip of drug addiction.
On the night of offending he said he had fallen out with his girlfriend and gone on a drink and drugs bender.
Jailing him, Judge Douglas Field said: “This represents an offending spree in February and March this year. “They are a variety of offences: making off without payment, shoplifting, attempting to burgle a garage, attempted theft and so on. Your problem is drugs. It is a deep-seated problem, you have had it for years.
“The dispiriting thing is people in probation have tried to help you over the years and you have taken no notice of that.
“The public needs protection and you need to go down for long enough for punishment but also to give yourself an opportunity to get over this drug problem. I am afraid that it is time that you go in for some time.”