BURGLARS were caught red-handed raiding a glove shop, one of the thieves claiming he only got involved so he could afford to buy his child a present.

Gavin Johnson was jailed for 20 months following the raid at Gloves n' Stuff in Padgets Lane in Redditch. His two accomplices - Gareth Corbett and and Matthew Wint - each received sentences of 16 months in prison suspended for two years.

Wint, 41, of Stretton Grove, Birmingham, was sentenced separately from the others at Worcester Crown Court on Wednesday after he did not turn up at the previous sentencing hearing, claiming he had Covid-19 though the judge said he did not see any evidence presented to him of this. Corbett of Tiffield Road, Birmingham and Johnson of Clent Way, Birmingham were sentenced on December 3 this year.

The commercial burglary happened on Wednesday, October 20, police receiving a call from a security company in Redditch who said voices could be heard inside the premises.

Patrick Kelly, prosecuting, said officers arrived to find the premises insecure. Two shipping containers had been broken into outside after the locks had been ground off.

"Entry to the premises was gained by breaking two windows at the rear of the address and forcing the security door open" said Mr Kelly.

The burglars had arrived in a van, driven on false plates, which parked in a secure compound adjoining the shop. A lock was cut to gain entry to that compound. A fence had also been cut at the rear of the compound. Police searched the premises with the owner. "Two crowbars were found in an office which had not been there prior to that incident" said Mr Kelly.

A battery-powered angle grinder was also seized. Police discovered £3,500 of goods which were in the process of being loaded and had been 'put to one side'.

The three men were detained inside the premises. Wint answered 'no comment' to questions put to him in police interview. He has 10 previous convictions for 23 offences, his last conviction just six months before for aggravated vehicle taking. He had been handed a community order for that and placed on an electronic tag until July. Although he did not breach the order, Judge James Burbidge QC, who sentenced him, noted that just three months after the tag ended he committed the Redditch burglary.

The judge told Wint that the burglary fell in category one, the most serious within the guidelines, with 'significant damage' caused to the property.

"The loss to the owners of the property, mercifully, was not significant" he said. The goods the burglars intended to steal were recovered.

He told Wint: "There was no good reason for you to get involved in this burglary. It's said you didn't have any money to buy a child a present."

As part of the suspended sentence, he ordered Wint to complete 200 hours of unpaid work, pay costs of £460 and compensation to the business of £200.