THREE men have been sent to prison after they admitted burgling an Ellesmere Port man who had mental health issues.
James Wilson, 22, of Chapel Lane, Tattenhall, Thomas Forshaw, 21, of Princes Road, Ellesmere Port, and Charles Ainsworth, 27, of Princes Road, Ellesmere Port, all pleaded guilty to breaking into a flat in the same block where two of the defendants lived, Princes Road, and stealing a number of items and a small quantity of cash.
The trio broke into the property after spending all day drinking together. The three defendants claimed they had little recollection of the events but Forshaw was seen on CCTV opening a window before Wilson climbed through and let the other two men into the property via the front door.
They then rummaged through the victim’s Mr Gallagher’s belongings taking around £40 in cash and some electrical items.
Two of the defendants, Forshaw and Ainsworth, knew the victim and knew about his mental health issues as the flats they lived in together were assisted accommodation for people who are struggling with mental health problems, and the judge said this was an aggravating factor.
In sentencing, Miss Recorder Baxter, said: “The victim was vulnerable which Ainsworth and Forshaw knew.
“They knew Mr Gallagher and knew why he was living there. All three of you chose to go to his address, in drink, and steal from him.
“There is nothing in the mitigation which I have heard which can pull me back from sending you to custody.
“An appropriate starting point after trial would be 15 months in prison but I must give you full credit for your early guilty pleas.”
The three were sentenced to 10 months in prison with Forshaw receiving another week imprisonment because he breached the terms of a suspended sentence he received for criminal damage two days after it was passed down.
Wilson received an extra week in prison for pleading guilty to assault by beating of a 15 year-old in Neston after he slapped the boy in an unprovoked attack.
In mitigation the defence pointed out all had alcohol problems which caused them to have little recollection of the event. The defence for Forshaw, Mr Adrian Evans, said: “They knew there was CCTV at the flats and made no thought to this when they committed the offences which shows how inebriated they were.”