By Court reporter 04/05 Updated: 09/05 09:10
A BURGLAR from Leamington who caused more than £50,000 of damage when he broke into a town office block and ripped out lengths of copper pipe from all four floors has been jailed for four years.
Maxwell Hill, 40, of Portland Street, had pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to three charges of burglary.
Prosecutor Gareth Walters said that over a weekend in September last year Hill broke into the Woven Ground rug shop in Regent Street, Leamington, through a rear upstairs window. He escaped with three Apple computers and rugs worth a total of £6,500.
At the end of October he broke into an office block in Waterloo Place, parts of which were unoccupied at the time.
Hill stole lengths of copper piping from unoccupied rooms on all four floors, causing damage which cost in excess of £50,000 to repair.
He returned to the same block over the first weekend in November, but having got into one of the unoccupied areas he then targeted the offices of the Independent Association of Preparatory Schools by breaking through a wall in the attic. On that occasion he stole four laptop computers, two digital projectors and cash to a total value of just over £8,000.
But Hill, who had 92 previous convictions including 36 for burglary, was arrested after his DNA was found at the scene.
He immediately admitted responsibility for the burglaries and another one at Woven Ground during which he had also taken a computer, and said he needed money for his drug addiction.
Nick Devine, defending, said: “He has had a long-standing drug addiction problem; he needed money, and he returned to what he knows best."
Jailing Hill, Judge Marten Coates told him: “This is your 29th appearance before the court, and you are well known for burgling premises which are commercial in nature.
“You do untold damage when you take computers in commercial burglaries; you have no idea what information is on them."
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