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Girl shouted as man aimed brick at her front door
10:40pm Wednesday 19th September 2012 in News
A DRUG addict ex-soldier from Worcestershire who tried to break into a house by smashing a window with a brick has been jailed for two years.
Christopher Bateman, who served with the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters, was spotted by a teenage girl inside the house. She shouted at him and then took his picture as he walked away.
Mary Wallace, prosecuting at Worcester Crown Court , said Bateman was seen walking past the house in Birmingham Road, Kidderminster, in broad daylight by the girl and her friend. When her friend left, Bateman thought the house was empty.
He knocked aggressively on the frosted glass of the front door and then took a brick or a piece of concrete from under his coat as if he was about to smash it, she said.
The girl shouted and he left but was arrested later and picked out in an ID procedure.
The 32-year-old pleaded guilty to attempted burglary at an earlier hearing. The court heard he had 29 convictions for 75 offences, most for dishonesty and including two previous house burglaries. They had mainly been carried out to get money for drugs.
Amanda Tomkins, defending, said Bateman had served in Bosnia and had suffered post-traumatic stress disorder which had led to a long-term drug habit.
She said he had managed to keep out of trouble when he had a job as manager of an arcade in Stourport-on-Severn, but when the season ended in 2010, he couldn’t find other employment and slipped back into his old ways. He had been living in hostels but had now been offered a chance to return to his parents in Warbler Place, Kidderminster.
Judge Patrick Thomas told Bateman he was extremely sympathetic to someone whose life had been “a mess” for so long.
But he said Bateman had been given chances before to tackle his drug addiction and there was a need to protect the public from his offending. He said he hoped the time in jail would finally give Bateman a chance to get off drugs.
The 77 days he has already spent in custody will be deducted from his sentence.