Jail for soldier who burgled while AWOL

Tuesday 08 January 2013 Updated: 11/01 08:16

A SOLDIER who broke into a Leamington couple’s house while he was home on leave and later went AWOL and failed to turn up at court has been jailed.

A warrant had been issued for Lars Gerard’s arrest when he failed to attend for a plea and case management hearing at Warwick Crown Court in October.

And following his arrest Gerard, who the court heard was also absent without leave from the Army, pleaded guilty to the burglary.

Gerard, 19, of Styles Close, Leamington, was jailed for nine months – with a consecutive one-month sentence for failing to surrender to his bail, which he also admitted.

Prosecutor Nigel Wilkins said Gerard broke into the house next-door to his father’s home in Styles Close.

He got in through a downstairs window - inadvertently left open the previous night - and took a Playstation games console, and some change and two bank cards from a purse.

And when a police scenes of crime officer attended he found Gerard’s fingerprints.

As a result Gerard, who had been home on leave from the Army at the time and staying at his father’s address, was arrested.

Gary Cook, defending, said Gerard had become increasingly depressed as a result of family-related stress and losing colleagues on duty in Afghanistan.

He pointed out that although the rest of his unit served in Afghanistan, Gerard had not been deployed on active service because he was ‘showing signs of depression.’

Mr Cook said Gerard had been remanded in custody since his arrest on the warrant in October, which was his first experience of custody, and he was also ‘in difficulties' with his regiment as a result of his crime.

Popular »

More news »

BREAKING NEWS: New information in Jack Macleod case

POLICE say they have received new information concerning

Warwick community group seeks support

TIME and ideas are required by a Warwick

Feature: Student spends Christmas on the streets

A CHILDHOOD teddy, rucksack, spare jumper, sleeping bag,

Quiz council on streetlight switch offs

RESIDENTS concerned by the controversial streetlight switch offs

Regional news »


Stratford Observer
RSC and BBC team-up to mark Shakespeare's death

THE BBC will broadcast live from Stratford next year to ...

Rugby Observer
St George to ride into Rugby

ST GEORGE and his trusted knights will ride into town ...

Coventry Observer
Police concerns grow for missing Stuart Davis

POLICE are urgently appealing for the public’s help to find ...

Redditch Standard
Fears for Redditch patients after Worcester meltdown

CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save services at the Alexandra Hospital have ...