Sofa so comfy out of rain, court told — (The Shropshire Star)

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The Shropshire Star

Updated: December 3, 2002 12:02

By Jo Cunningham

The black leather sofa in the window of a Shropshire furniture store looked inviting to Stephen Edwards as he walked home in the pouring rain.  In fact, it looked so comfortable he broke in through a skylight just so he could try it out, a court heard.
Edwards scaled the roof of the Furniture Village store in Telford in heavy rain in the early hours of the morning before not only sitting on the settee, but trying out a range of beds and armchairs, a jury was told.
Edwards was discovered after a police officer noticed a ladder leaning against the store at The Forge Retail Park, Telford, in June.
Shrewsbury Crown Court was told by Edwards yesterday that he got into the property because he had seen a “really nice” black leather settee in the window as he walked past at 2am.
Edwards, 28, who denies burglary with intent to steal, admits smashing a skylight to get into the shop and said he sat on beds, tried out the settee and played with chairs with remote control footrests before he realised he had set off a sensor and left.
Mr Mark Wall, prosecuting, told the jury during the brief trial that they would have to decide whether Edwards, who was living in a hostel for the homeless in Malinslee at the time of the offence, broke into the property intending to steal or whether he was just doing “some over zealous window shopping”.
Mr Wall said Constable David Ashmore saw a ladder against a porch at the store at 3.30am on June 6.
He saw Edwards and asked him to come down the way he had gone up and he climbed off the roof via the ladder but was wearing no shoes.
Mr Wall said it was admitted that Edwards told the officer he had him “banged to rights” and said he had got into the store via a smashed skylight and left when he realised there were sensors in the building, throwing away his shoes.
Giving evidence, Edwards admitted taking 24 of his anti-depressant tablets at 8pm the previous day.
He added: “I was walking past the shops looking in the window and saw a black leather settee in the window. It was a really nice settee. For some reason I just wanted to sit on it.”
The trial continues.