April 17 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
A prisoner already serving a four-year jail sentence confessed to a break-in four-and-a-half years ago so that he could “wipe the slate clean”.
Radas Balkevicius, 22, of Daventry Road, Harold Hill, told police he was part of a gang that carried out a car key burglary at a house in Hertfordshire in August 2009 while the owners were asleep upstairs.
Car keys were taken from inside the house and a blue Audi A4 and a blue BMW were driven away.
Other property including a laptop and an iPod were also stolen, St Albans Crown Court heard on Friday.
Prosecutor Laura Blackband said that at Chelmsford Crown Court in April last year Balkevicius was jailed for four years.
He had raided homes all over east London and Essex, including Harold Wood, Romford, Ilford, Ingatestone, Grays, South Ockenden, Billericay, Blackmore, Chelmsford, Maldon and Tiptree.
The Lithuanian, who had been a drug addict, had broken into 169 homes. He pleaded guilty to two burglaries and one attempted burglary, but asked for 166 other offences to be taken into consideration.
He had been taken out of prison for a four-day “drive around” with the police because he wanted to clear up other crimes he had committed, including the Hertfordshire burglary.
Balkevicius pleaded guilty to burglary and asked for 17 offences to be taken into consideration. He appeared for sentence from Bedford prison.
Natalie Foster, defending, asked for credit for Balkevicius’ guilty plea.
Judge Andrew Bright QC said: “This was a very serious offence of the theft of high value vehicles while people were asleep inside their home. Your admission came as a result of your decision to clear the slate and put matters behind you. I take the view that if it had been before Chelmsford Crown Court it would not have made any difference to the sentence. People like you who want to put the past behind them should be encouraged.”