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Burnham Highbridge Weekly
By Dan Sales
A sentence of 20 months was given.
A DRUNK drug user has been jailed for 20 months for a late-night Burnham burglary which he says he remembers nothing about.
Taunton Crown Court heard on Thursday (March 22) how Mark Derrick, 29, had been linked to the crime by DNA evidence after his blood was found in a room in the building.
The Highbridge man, of Havage Close, was ordered locked up this week after being found guilty of burglary on the night of April 10 and 11 last year.
Prosecutor Caroline Bolt said the crime had happened when the owner of the property had gone away for the night while renovation work was taking place.
“When the builders arrived they discovered glass had been smashed and there had clearly been a burglary,” she said.
“When the police investigated they found blood on the utility room floor and that, it transpired, belonged to the defendant.”
The court heard how items worth up to £2,800 were taken, including a Cartier watch, a digital camera and a drill.
It was also revealed that Derrick had appeared in court on nine previous occasions, charged with offences including possession of drugs in 1996.
In mitigation David Osborne said his client had admitted using cannabis regularly to help him get through “the daily grind” and could not remember what he had done.
“He is a rather mixed up and unfulfilled young man, he suffers from depression and is on medication and under the care of a doctor,” he said.
“When he does socialise he goes out drinking to excess – certainly he had been drinking to excess before the offence was committed.”
In passing sentence, Judge Graham Hume Jones said he took into account the fact Derrick gave names of others allegedly involved when being questioned by police.
“You said you can’t remember anything about it,” the judge said of the offence.
“It’s right to say the names of the other people involved, there was probably not enough evidence against them.
“You will serve 20 months imprisonment.”
Burnham Sector Inspector Dale Baker told the Weekly News he was satisfied with the sentence.
“It sends out a warning to anyone considering committing crimes in the area that the force and the courts will not tolerate such things,” he said.
“I am pleased that a burglar which has been caught by my officers has been imprisoned for such a period of time.”