A burglar who raided a Cotswolds farmhouse and stole more than 10,000 worth of jewellery has walked free from court today despite the devastating impact the offence has had on the owners. Ian Richards, 40, who was caught because his face was clearly visible on the owner’s home CCTV, had been held in custody since his arrest at the end of January. But today a judge at Gloucester Crown Court freed him with a two- year jail sentence suspended for two years. Recorder Peter Towler imposed a three months home curfew on Richards from 8pm to 6.30am each night and ordered him to undergo a 30 day rehabilitation activity programme
Richards, of Kingscote Road, Hucclecote, admitted burgling the home at Temple Guiting, on January 27 this year. Prosecutor Nick O’Brien said that the family who lived there were away for a few days at the time of the raid but the house was well covered by CCTV and an alarm system. In the early hours of the morning, at about 3.30am, the homeowner was asleep in a hotel when her alarm system sent an alert to her mobile phone . However she did not look at it until the morning when she saw a picture of two burglars outside her front door.
One showed Richards clearly but the other man had his face covered and has not been identified. “The two people were seen ringing the doorbell, walking away and later coming back again,” Mr O’Brien said. “They then broke in and must have been in the house for some time because the police automatic number plate recognition system shows their car going to the property at 2.25am and not leaving until 4.40am.
“When the lady got back she found that throughout the house drawers had been searched and left open . Three iPads were stolen and 200 cash was taken from a purse in the kitchen . Bank cards and three phones were stolen.
“A great deal of jewellery valued at 10,000 at least was also taken . Nothing has been recovered. “As a result of the defendant’s face being seen on CCTV he was stopped in a car a day or so later and arrested . He was wearing the jacket seen in the CCTV image. “But he told the police he couldn’t remember anything of the offence because he had been given ‘Spice’ – the once legal high – and was told later that he had done the burglary . The prosecution rejects that explanation.”
The court heard that Richards had six previous convictions for domestic burglary although all but one of them was back in the 1990s. In a victim impact statement the homeowner said: “I no longer feel safe in my own home . I constantly worry about the burglars coming back to steal the other items they missed. “We have several children and we used to leave doors open but now we have to lock them all . My partner and I have changed our sleeping positions in bed so he can be closer to the door in case of burglary again.
“What particularly upsets me is that two of the stolen rings were given to me by my grandmother and they have lots of sentimental value to me.” She said she no longer feels able to stay in the house and will be moving out with her family in May. “My partner is still struggling to sleep at night,” she said. “Both of us are struggling to deal with the emotions this has caused.”
Joe Maloney, for Richards, said he still maintained he had been given a ‘substance’ which caused him to get involved in the burglary when he had no need to do so, He was working at that time and his bank records showed he had 400 in his account on the day of the raid, he said. Passing sentence Recorder Towler said: “You told the police when you were arrested that you had no recollection of the night in question after the point at which you had smoked a cigarette at a pub which you were later told contained the drug Spice.
“However, the CCTV footage clearly shows you and at least one other person outside the house and it is clear the burglary lasted some time, more than an hour.
“Some of what you stole was of great sentimental value . Not only has Ms Butcher lost those items of value to her but she has come to the conclusion she can no longer bear to live in that house and they are planning to move. “That kind of impact is an aggravating feature in a case of this kind . It is category one in the sentencing guidelines with a starting point of 3 years custody and a range of 2-6 years. “I have read through your lengthy criminal record and note that you have six previous convicitions for domestic burglary . Only one of those is since 1999 when the automatic minimum sentence came into force.
“You also have a large number of 17 non domestic burglaries and other offences on your record, some of them serious. “You have been to prison on a number of occasions . At the time of this offence you were subject to a community order made by Gloucester Magistrate in August last year for using threatening behaviour . Your progress on that order was reported as being good. “You said to your probation officer that you were never going to go back to prison again. “I have seen a number of letters – from your employer and your bank statement which shows you were in work and had money in the bank and no need to commit this offence.
“I have seen letters from your mother and also from your 13 year old son.
“The efforts you have made in the last year or so justify me taking a course I would not otherwise have taken .
You have been able to re-establish a relationship with your son and indeed with his mother and everything was going in the right direction until stupidly you got in with the wrong people and succumbed to their persuasion and committed this offence.”
- ^ House in suburban Gloucester at centre of police probe into forced prostitution and slavery (www.gloucestershirelive.co.uk)
- ^ How ‘you’re short’ jibe led to cup of McDonald’s coke being thrown at couple who beat victim (www.gloucestershirelive.co.uk)
A tourist attraction in Somerset has been burgled days after a lone security guard quit in terror claiming a new cave is haunted.
Scared Stephen Wheeler has worked in security for 25 years but only lasted eight days at Wookey Hole in Somerset.
He said a new huge cave which was opened this year spooked him and his Rottweiler Sherman so much they refused to patrol the new ‘Chamber 20’ labyrinth.
Stephen said Sherman would flatly refuse to enter the cave and he often felt he was being watched or touched on the neck – or his torch batteries would suddenly run out.
The burly 45 year-old said: “Sherman isn’t fazed by anything but he didn’t want to go into that chamber.
“I’ve done security work all over the place, in graveyards and film sets, he has always come with me and never been like this.
“After 12 o’clock, as soon as we hit that tunnel, you just stop and get really nervous.
“Once we got into the chamber, you would hear noises but no-one was working in there.
“I’m not someone who gets nervous but it made me nervous.
“I always carry two torches with me, LED ones, and they both ran out of battery at the same time . That doesn’t happen at all.
“They have lights in there, site lights run on transformers, but they transformers kept blowing . They are designed to be there.
“I often felt like someone was watching over my shoulder all the time, especially in that cave.
“I’ve also been poked in the back .
I’m fairly sceptical but not when it comes to my dog and that cave.
“This is first time I’ve ever quit like this . I had a two-month contract but I just thought no . I’m not doing it any more.”
Stephen, from Easton, Bristol handed in his notice on the 16th October – and three days later burglars struck.
The entrance doors were kicked open and a thief walked away with 400 cash, a charity box filled with change and souvenir items from the tourist attraction’s gift shop.
The intruder was caught on CCTV and a 5,000 reward is on offer.
Stephen had been hired after an earlier attempted break-in on October 1st when five youths were foiled trying to get into the attraction.
Wookey Hole said the new haunted cave was also affecting other staff.
Manager and owner Dan Medley said: “It all started when we blew the cave open at the end of July.
“The rest of the cave system is fine, it is just literally this one chamber.
“It’s made it hard for us to operate .
The staff are wary of going in there on their own.
“Security staff are too scared to patrol it .
When we say we want the whole site checked on, that is the one area they don’t like and leave.
“When the last guard walked out, that’s when we got burgled .
I’m having to go around the whole site now myself but I’m not brave enough to go into chamber 20.”
This week’s midnight Halloween walk has also been cancelled as no staff want to work it.
Between them, the 113 companies named owed workers over 387,000 in arrears, and span sectors including hairdressing, retail, education, catering and social care.
Since the scheme was introduced in October 2013, 398 employers have been named and shamed, with total arrears of over 1,179,000 and total penalties of over 511,000.
Business Minister Nick Boles said:
Employers that fail to pay the minimum wage hurt the living standards of the lowest paid and their families.
As a one nation government on the side of working people we are determined that everyone who is entitled to the National Minimum Wage receives it.
Next April we will introduce a new National Living Wage which will mean a 900-a-year pay rise for someone working full time on the minimum wage and we will enforce this equally robustly.
To improve compliance in the hairdressing sector HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has launched a NMW campaign to drive voluntary behavioural change. The campaign is an opportunity for employers to check they are paying their employees correctly and ensure any outstanding arrears are paid back to employees.
The 113 cases named today were thoroughly investigated by HMRC.
The 113 employers named today are:
- Monsoon Accessorize Ltd, London W11, neglected to pay 104,507.83 to 1438 workers
- Tyne & Wear Riding for the Disabled Association, trading as Washington Riding Centre, Washington, neglected to pay 27,151.79 to 6 workers
- Project Security UK Ltd, Doncaster, neglected to pay 23,857.11 to 18 workers
- Carl Keith Salons Ltd, Prescot, neglected to pay 20,535.03 to 5 workers
- Cornwall Glass & Glazing Ltd, trading as Exeter & MacKenzie Glass Centre, Exeter, neglected to pay 14,253.66 to 9 workers
- Mr Gholam Ghiassi, Chaigley, neglected to pay 14,208.40 to 2 workers
- Helen Woodend, trading as New Brooms, Burton-in-Kendal, neglected to pay 13,447.01 to 14 workers
- Stoke College Educational Trust Ltd, trading as Stoke College, Sudbury, neglected to pay 12,094.83 to 7 workers
- Village Garage Engineers Ltd, trading as Village Garage, Plean, neglected to pay 9,159.80 to 3 workers
- Aspect Plumbing & Heating Ltd, trading as Aspect Plumbing & Heating, Liverpool, neglected to pay 8,280.45 to 1 worker
- D A Elliott Farriers Ltd, Whitby, neglected to pay 7,516.44 to 3 workers
- Solex Systems Ltd (ceased trading), Broughton, neglected to pay 5,978.17 to 3 workers
- Ian Balfour & Caroline Balfour, trading as A E Taxis, Kirkcaldy, neglected to pay 4,757.59 to 3 workers
- Westbrookes Property Ltd, Nottingham, neglected to pay 4,661.73 to 9 workers
- Spirit Pub Company (Services) Ltd, Burton on Trent, neglected to pay 4,629.14 to 1 worker
- North Tyneside Learning Trust, trading as Woodlawn Special School, West Monkseaton, neglected to pay 4,312.19 to 1 worker
- Frederick Evans & Laureen Evans, trading as Manston Riding Centre, Ramsgate, neglected to pay 4,142.83 to 1 worker
- Continental Meat Supply Ltd, London SE17, neglected to pay 3,922.59 to 1 worker
- Greenwoods Hotel Management Ltd, trading as Greenwoods Hotel and Spa, Stock, neglected to pay 3,545.18 to 2 workers
- Supreme Care Services Ltd, Morden, neglected to pay 3,528.64 to 1 worker
- Margaret Jankowitz, trading as The Beeches Hair Studio, Clydebank, neglected to pay 3,283.36 to 3 workers
- Paterson SA Ltd, trading as Paterson SA Hairdressing, Edinburgh, neglected to pay 3,216.50 to 15 workers
- The RHU Ltd, Burgess Hill, neglected to pay 3,166.11 to 1 worker
- Mr Prakash Dattani, trading as Interpharm Chemist, Leicester, neglected to pay 3,077.55 to 2 workers
- SEM Electrical Ltd, Darlington, neglected to pay 2,666.09 to 1 worker
- Susan Beeks, trading as Waterside Hair & Beauty, Harmondsworth, neglected to pay 2,662.49 to 1 worker
- Bennett Homes Ltd, Manchester, neglected to pay 2,659.96 to 2 workers
- Andrew Warburton & Theresa Warburton, trading as Alesha Paul Hair Design, Manchester, neglected to pay 2,633.54 to 1 worker
- Subway Universal Ltd, trading as Subway, (Morden, Barbican, Richmond, Twickenham), London, neglected to pay 2,466.77 to 10 workers
- Elgan Davies Ltd, Cardigan, neglected to pay 2,312.62 to 1 worker
- AutoPanels North East Ltd, Chester le Street, neglected to pay 2,101.59 to 1 worker
- Giscombe Brown Ltd, trading as Nuba Hair & Beauty, Sheffield, neglected to pay 2,071.68 to 2 workers
- SCC Leisure Ltd, trading as Bar Soba, Glasgow, neglected to pay 2,015.82 to 1 worker
- Charsi Tikka Ltd, London E7, neglected to pay 1,823.19 to 1 worker
- Claire Beaty, trading as Innovations Hair Design, Windsor, neglected to pay 1,765.19 to 1 worker
- Mr Bernard Camish, Mrs Carol Camish, Mr James Coles & Mrs Ria Coles, trading as The Poplars, Trowbridge, neglected to pay 1,748.31 to 1 worker
- Nichola Crosby, trading as Beyond The Fringe, Cwmbran, neglected to pay 1,687.91 to 1 worker
- Paul Scully Ltd, trading as Scully Scully, Godalming, neglected to pay 1,660.85 to 1 worker
Meats Ltd, Wimborne, neglected to pay 1,628.86 to 1 worker
- Your Leisure Kent Ltd, trading as Tides Leisure & Indoor Tennis Centre, Deal, neglected to pay 1,619.95 to 1 worker
- Cross Electrical Ltd, Surbiton, neglected to pay 1,597.41 to 1 worker
- March Hair Plymouth Ltd, Plymouth, neglected to pay 1,590.98 to 2 workers
- Carole Eustace & Mark Eustace, trading as Westfield Court Hotel, Sutton Coldfield, neglected to pay 1,510.78 to 1 worker
- Affinity Dental Ltd, Rochdale, neglected to pay 1,452.02 to 1 worker
- Norma Clark Hair & Beauty Ltd, Glasgow, neglected to pay 1,391.32 to 1 worker
- Young Men s Christian Association Bargoed and District Branch, Bargoed, neglected to pay 1,372.12 to 1 worker
- Capital Care Services (UK) Ltd, London E18, neglected to pay 1,298.83 to 2 workers
- Assess to Progress Ltd, Pudsey, neglected to pay 1,286.76 to 3 workers
- Givehand Ltd, London E17, neglected to pay 1,281.89 to 2 workers
- Studio Fifty Six (Christchurch) Ltd, Christchurch, neglected to pay 1,243.82 to 2 workers
- Little Apple Ltd, trading as Sileby Day Nursery, Leicester, neglected to pay 1,229.21 to 2 workers
- Complete Joinery Midlands Ltd, Nottingham, neglected to pay 1,175.73 to 1 worker
- Printer Cartridge Supplies Ltd, Redruth, neglected to pay 1,096.19 to 1 worker
- Anthony Williamson, Salvatore Bifulco, Tracey Caswell & Leo Bifulco, trading as Your Lifestyle LLP, Gloucester, neglected to pay 1,092.85 to 16 workers
- Ellenborough Park Ltd, trading as Ellenborough Park Hotel, Cheltenham, neglected to pay 1,084.01 to 1 worker
- PCC UK International Ltd, trading as We Love Laptops, Lostock, neglected to pay 1,079.07 to 3 workers
- Metro Surveillance Group Ltd, Cookstown, neglected to pay 1,059.35 to 1 worker
- Joe Allen, trading as Joe Allen Electrical Contractors, Newark, neglected to pay 1,052.51 to 1 worker
- Leo Mancini Ltd, Ascot, neglected to pay 1,022.83 to 1 worker
- Sue Kramer, trading as Hillcrest Montessori Nursery School, Coulsdon, neglected to pay 1,018.79 to 1 worker
- Robert Huggett, trading as Robert & Sheron, Midhurst, neglected to pay 962.38 to 1 worker
- Christopher Spry Ltd, trading as Christopher Spry Hairdressers, Norwich, neglected to pay 931.54 to 1 worker
- Cannon Services (UK) Ltd, Aylesford, neglected to pay 871.03 to 1 worker
- Hyde Park Food Ltd, trading as Chicken Valley, London W12, neglected to pay 820.80 to 1 worker
- LS&R Ltd, trading as Omega Business Supplies, Stockport, neglected to pay 784.92 to 1 worker
- Waters & Sons Independent Funeral Directors Ltd, Southampton, neglected to pay 768.51 to 1 worker
- Xercise4less (Wakefield) Ltd, Wakefield, neglected to pay 751.29 to 1 worker
- Rasheed Mustafa, trading as Riverstone Property, Crawley, neglected to pay 742.91 to 1 worker
- KJM Autos Ltd, Hengoed, neglected to pay 736.12 to 1 worker
- MAC Repair Ltd, Leeds, neglected to pay 715.68 to 1 worker
- Meden Courier Services Ltd, Mansfield, neglected to pay 684.59 to 3 workers
- Lynsey Sellars, trading as La Belle Health & Beauty, Leeds, neglected to pay 659.40 to 1 worker
- Ground Events Ltd, trading as The Playground, London N15, neglected to pay 624.00 to 1 worker
- Ceredigion Couriers Ltd, Machynlleth, neglected to pay 620.55 to 1 worker
- Strathmore Hotels Ltd, trading as Royal Hotel, Argyll, and Salutation Hotel, Perth, neglected to pay 609.97 to 2 workers
- Duval Security Ltd, Derby, neglected to pay 520.00 to 1 worker
- ENA Ltd, trading as ENA Salon, London WC2B, neglected to pay 492.48 to 1 worker
- U & T Ltd, trading as The Sweet Spot, Hamilton, neglected to pay 482.64 to 2 workers
- Lee Nixon, trading as Mediabox Productions, Nottingham, neglected to pay 468.00 to 1 worker
- Christopher Whiteside, trading as The Hair Workshop, Lytham St Annes, neglected to pay 457.58 to 1 worker
- Findme4u Ltd, London SE12, neglected to pay 442.26 to 1 worker
- The Square Bar & Restaurant Ltd, Harrogate, neglected to pay 437.02 to 1 worker
- Wyin Innovations, Croydon, neglected to pay 417.51 to 1 worker
- Nightingale Social Care Staffing Agency Ltd, Barnsley, neglected to pay 405.47 to 1 worker
- Top Quote Ltd, Manchester, neglected to pay 391.89 to 1 worker
- Greg Heywood, trading as Vineyard King, Northampton, neglected to pay 353.93 to 1 worker
- Allen Avenue Ltd, Croydon, neglected to pay 347.24 to 1 worker
- Storm Commercials Ltd, Monk Bretton, neglected to pay 342.40 to 1 worker
- Michelle Marklow, trading as Shellies Flowers, Birmingham, neglected to pay 323.09 to 1 worker
- Sam Clackmannan (Scotland) Ltd, trading as Samantha Blues Hairdressing, Clackmannan, neglected to pay 319.29 to 1 worker
- Cocouk Ltd, trading as Le Dermex, Edinburgh, neglected to pay 305.50 to 1 worker
- Forward Life Ltd, Swansea, neglected to pay 286.00 to 1 worker
- Direct Windows & Conservatories (Staffordshire) Ltd, trading as Direct Windows & Conservatories, Stoke-on-Trent, neglected to pay 274.70 to 1 worker
- Impresstech Ltd, trading as Best One (ceased trading April 2014), London SW2, neglected to pay 272.34 to 1 worker
- International Business Action Ltd, trading as County Hand Car Wash, Morecambe, neglected to pay 266.50 to 1 worker
- Susan Turner, trading as The Belle Air Hairdressing Salon, Wakefield, neglected to pay 261.91 to 2 workers
- Commply (Yorkshire) Ltd, Leeds, neglected to pay 260.37 to 7 workers
- The Court Hotel (Bromley) Ltd, Bromley, neglected to pay 230.67 to 3 workers
- Sweetly Stevia (UK) Ltd, London SE16, neglected to pay 227.50 to 1 worker
- The Spa in Lancing Ltd, trading as The Spa in Lancing, Lancing, neglected to pay 192.26 to 1 worker
- Pimms Hair & Beauty Ltd, Aldershot, neglected to pay 178.22 to 2 workers
- D K Forecourts Ltd, trading as Texaco Garage, Caerphilly, neglected to pay 156.00 to 1 worker
- Coach Travel Wales Ltd, trading as Coach Travel Wales, Aberystwyth, neglected to pay 153.52 to 1 worker
- D K Forecourts Ltd, trading as Pavilion Garage, Pontypool, neglected to pay 151.44 to 1 worker
- Pilning Kings Arms Ltd (previous owners), trading as The Kings Arms, Bristol, neglected to pay 143.72 to 1 worker
- Steve Efthimiou, trading as Mr Clutch, Luton, neglected to pay 135.24 to 1 worker
- Urban Angels (Didsbury) Ltd, Didsbury, neglected to pay 133.19 to 1 worker
- Huddleson Enterprises Ltd, trading as The Lock Keeper s Inn, Belfast, neglected to pay 132.35 to 7 workers
- MLVH Ltd, trading as The Manor Hotel, Christchurch, neglected to pay 124.89 to 1 worker
- Mark Gosling, trading as Regency Autos, Penarth, neglected to pay 116.76 to 1 worker
- Bartek Deli Enterprise Ltd, trading as Polmar Supermarket, London W13, neglected to pay 110.50 to 1 worker
- Mrs Mary Forbes, trading as Mary Forbes Hairdressing, Dundee, neglected to pay 106.44 to 1 worker
- Cribs Estates Ltd, London SW19, neglected to pay 104.32 to 1 worker
Notes to editors
1.Employers have a duty to be aware of the different legal rates for the National Minimum Wage.
The current National Minimum Wage rates are:
- adult rate (21 years old and over) – 6.70 per hour
- 18 to 20-year olds – 5.30 per hour
- 16 to 17-year olds – 3.87 per hour
- apprentice rate – 3.30 per hour
The apprentice rate applies to apprentices aged 16 to 18 years and those aged 19 years and over who are in their first year. All other apprentices are entitled to the National Minimum Wage rate for their age.
2.The government is committed to increasing compliance with minimum wage legislation and effective enforcement of it. Everyone who is entitled to the minimum wage should receive it.
The BIS scheme to name employers who break minimum wage law came into effect on 1 January 2011. The scheme is one of a range of tools at the government s disposal to tackle this issue. Employers who pay workers less than the minimum wage not only have to pay back arrears of wages at current minimum wage rates but also face financial penalties of up to 20,000.
In the most serious cases employers can be prosecuted.
3.From 1 October 2013 the government revised the naming scheme to make it simpler to name and shame employers who break the law. Under this scheme the government will name all employers that have been issued with a Notice of Underpayment (NoU) unless employers meet one of the exceptional criteria or have arrears of 100 or less. All 113 cases named today failed to pay the national minimum wage and have arrears of over 100.
4.Employers have 28 days to appeal to HMRC against the NoU (this notice sets out the owed wages to be paid by the employer together with the penalty for not complying with minimum wage law).
If the employer does not appeal or unsuccessfully appeals against this NoU, BIS will consider them for naming.
The employer then has 14 days to make representations to BIS outlining whether they meet any of the exceptional criteria:
- naming by BIS carries a risk of personal harm to an individual or their family
- there are national security risks associated with naming in this instance
- other factors which suggest that it would not be in the public interest to name the employer (employer to provide details)
If BIS does not receive any representations or the representations received are unsuccessful, the employer will be named via a BIS press release under this scheme.