burglar who broke into a houseboat on the River Lea at Ware to find something to sell so he could buy drugs was jailed Friday 18th September.
 
The 28 year old had been drinking and was with two others when they burgled the boat some time between twenty to nine at night on 2 August and five past midnight on the 3rd, St Albans crown court heard.
 
Prosecutor Peter Shaw said perspex sliding doors were forced open and a pink Acer laptop and a briefcase containing documents were taken. The briefcase was later found left by a lake. Its lock was broken and the paperwork was soaking wet. The laptop was never recovered.
 
What the thieves did not know was that the boat’s owner had a camera installed that recorded the break-in. When a police officer viewed the footage he identified the defendant, said Mr Shaw. 
 
He was arrested and told the police he had been drinking and went there with two others. He did not gain anything as one of the others sold the £150 laptop, he said. 
 
The man from Ware pleaded guilty to burglary. He had 18 previous convictions for 35 offences. He was in breach of an 8 week suspended sentence after being stopped having stolen two bottle of Vodka from Sainsbury’s in Waltham Cross on 9 May. When his bag was searched a Stanley knife was found.  
 
Alex Britton, defending, said he had relapsed into heroin use and had wanted money to feed his habit.”His way of funding his addiction has been shoplifting, ” he said. He had been attending cocaine anonymous and his long term aim is to move from the area for residential rehabilitation in Weston Super Mare. 
 
Mr Britton said his client was candid with the police when he was arrested and pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.
 
Recorder Jonathan Lee QC sentenced him to 10 months for the burglary with a further 4 weeks for breaching the suspended sentence. He must pay the £900 court charge and £100 victim surcharge. He said he gave him credit for his plea and his frankness about the offence.