A judge has expressed his anger after a Rhyl burglar was convicted of stealing a flat-screen TV from a vulnerable man.
Gerald Evans was jailed for two years after he admitted stealing the television from the home of Wayne Bradshaw on Victoria Road in February. He had also been accused of a similar burglary at the same house on a previous occasion.
But Judge Rhys Rowlands at Mold Crown Court said he was left ”absolutely staggered” when prosecutors agreed to accept Evans’ guilty plea on one count rather than two. Sentencing at the court was adjourned for a five minute pause to allow the judge to calm down.
The prosecution said Mr Bradshaw had mobility and speech problems after suffering a stroke – he needed a carer to help him and felt his television was important.
On the night of the burglary, he used his mobility scooter to go for a drink at The Bodfor pub on Bodfor Street. When he returned, he found his £290 television – brought after his previous set was stolen – had been taken away. Evans (52) had been accused of stealing the key to Mr Bradshaw’s home.
Evans was later caught on CCTV, carrying the set in Victoria Road. When he was arrested, police found Mr Bradshaw’s other TV in an outbuilding.
In a statement, Mr Bradshaw said he had been frustrated and angry after his first TV was stolen last September and had changed the locks to his house, but still felt he was being targeted and was considering moving.
The second theft had left him ‘so angry and upset’ that he cried on the phone to his carer and had trouble sleeping. When Evans was identified as the culprit, he was left ‘disgusted’ because he had considered him a friend. Both men had visited each other’s houses and he felt Evans had ”abused his trust”. Because of what happened, Mr Bradshaw still felt intimidated and was allowed not to attend the trial to give evidence.
The defence claimed Evans had no recollection of what happened but fully accepted that he carried out the burglary. He had previous convictions from ten years ago – with alcohol thought to be the root cause – but a cocaine addiction had led to his latest offences.
Judge Rowlands said if the case had been handled differently by the CPS – and on the basis of the available evidence – Evans would have also been convicted of the first burglary, adding a further eighteen months to his sentence.
He described Evans as ”thoroughly dishonest” and ”extremely lucky”.