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'I'm out robbing!' - burglar Stuart Gibbs had incriminating text message on his phone

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A would-be burglar caught after trying to break into a house was found to have an incriminating text message on his phone.

Stuart John Gibbs sent a message to someone earlier that day, saying: "I've told you 20 times, don't ring me when I'm out robbing."

Leicester Crown Court was told a vigilant neighbour in Rosedale Avenue in the city, alerted the police after seeing two men acting suspiciously in her neighbour's garden, at 8.45pm on March 20.

The occupant, in his 70s, was away on holiday.

The police arrived to find a window in a backdoor was smashed, causing £400 damage, but nothing had been taken.

Alan Murphy, prosecuting, said: "The police found the defendant hiding in a shed nearby. Glass fragments on his gloves matched those from the broken window."

When officers checked his mobile, they saw the incriminating text message he had sent two hours earlier.

Gibbs, a 24-year-old father-of-two, of Folville Rise, Braunstone, Leicester, admitted attempted burglary.

He also admitted failing to answer his bail, by turning up late at court.

Gibbs further admitted dangerously driving a Mazda, driving when disqualified and handling a stolen laptop and iPod.

Mr Murphy said those offences, committed on June 9, arose when the defendant failed to stop for the police.

He was travelling towards the city on the A50 and sped through several red lights during a police pursuit.

Gibbs veered onto the wrong side of the road and drove over the limit in Fosse Road North and eventually abandoned the vehicle in St Dunstan's Road.

An off-duty police community support officer saw the defendant discard a bag under a nearby bush, containing a laptop, as well as an iPod with his fingerprints on.

They had been stolen, by persons unknown, the night before in a house burglary in Narborough Road South.

Gibbs further admitted driving a motorcycle when disqualified and without insurance on June 17 and possessing a small amount of cannabis on September 30.

He was jailed for a total of 18 months and banned from driving for 18 months.

Judge Simon Hammond said the elderly victim of the attempted break-in had been left feeling "vulnerable".

He said: "There's also huge public concern when there's a police chase because someone could be injured or killed."

Judge Hammond said he appreciated that a prison sentence would cause "hurt" to Gibbs' partner and two children, "especially at Christmas time".

Gibbs' previous convictions include seven thefts, two offences of dangerous driving, five of driving when disqualified and two of handling stolen goods.

James Varley, mitigating, said: "He doesn't have any previous convictions for burglary.

"He can't explain the text message and it doesn't reflect the situation or his antecedent history."

Gibbs was several hours late attending court for sentence, because he was saying "farewell" to his partner and children, aged five months and two years.

"It's particularly hard for him going into custody at this time of year," said Mr Varley.

'I'm out robbing!' - burglar Stuart Gibbs had incriminating  text message on his phone


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