Bang to rights: Honiton man convicted of Co-op burglary

Full court report.

QUICK detective work saw a Honiton crook charged and convicted of a burglary at The Co-operative within 24 hours of his arrest.

James Collinwood David Trower, of Marwood Place, appeared at Central Devon Magistrates’ Court, in Exeter, last Friday - a day after he broke into the supermarket.

He pleaded guilty to the burglary, although his accomplice is still at large.

Magistrates heard Trower, 30, smashed his way into the store before stealing goods valued at �840.

Four digital cameras, a Toshiba flat screen television and 21 bottles of various spirits and Champagne were stolen during the early morning raid.

Karen Ball, prosecuting, said: “At half past midnight on Thursday, Mr Trower approached Lace Walk accompanied by another man.

Most Read

“They cracked the glass with an unknown item, which was thrown at the door, and a commercial wheelie bin was pushed into the doors.”

The two men caused further damage to the doors of the store when they kicked the glass until it gave way and were captured on a CCTV camera after this.

The internal glass doors of the store were also smashed, permitting access to the main retail area. When the police arrived at the premises, Trower is reported to have approached an officer on the scene to ask when the shop would be opening.

Miss Ball added: “Police noted that Trower had glass fragments on his coat jacket and seemed to be under the influence of a substance.”

A police dog was taken towards the car park and bottles of alcohol were recovered in a dog mess bin. The 32 inch television, four digital cameras and other spirits were also recovered.

The court heard that damage to the supermarket’s doors has been valued at up to �12,000.

The court also heard from the defence how Trower had been approached by his accomplice to play along in what was described by his defence as an ‘opportunistic’ burglary.

Peter Woodley, defending, said: “The items he stole were recovered, undamaged and will be able to be re sold.

“The items the other man took have not been recovered.

“Also the other man has not been recovered by police and it was clearly on CCTV footage that it was a joint enterprise and Mr Trower is the only person that has been arrested and put forward before the court.”

Trower, a recovering heroin addict, was under the influence of vodka and valium at the time of the incident, which was described by his defence as an ‘ill conceived burglary’.

Mr Woodley said: “He feels absolutely wretched about the repercussions on his long-suffering partner and children.”

Magistrates requested a pre-sentence report from the Probation Service.

Trower was remanded on conditional bail. He has been placed on a curfew from 7pm until 7am, and has to wear an electronic tag.

Trower is due back in court on December 17.