Victim condemns burglar's sentence

PUBLISHED: 06:35 12 November 2008 | UPDATED: 22:35 15 June 2010

A SEATON man is disgusted that the burglar he chased out of his home escaped a prison sentence.

A SEATON man is disgusted that the burglar he chased out of his home escaped a prison sentence.Russell Bleazard, 38, whose house is off Harbour Road, woke to find Moses Keeling in his home making off with £300 in cash and other goods - and followed him until police arrived.Last week the Herald reported how Mr Keeling, 47, who had 33 previous court appearances for over 130 offences, had pleaded guilty to burglary but was let off the mandatory three-year prison sentence.Recorder Sarah Munro QC at Exeter Crown Court said he would be subject to a two year supervision order with a condition he attend the Think Programme and do 300 hours unpaid work. Mr Bleazard said: "It's absolutely abysmal. I find it quite unbelievable. He should have got a custodial sentence - he's a very lucky man. But the police will get him again. I just feel sorry for the poor occupants when they do."It's had quite a phenomenal affect on me personally. To wake up at four in the morning and realise someone has been in your house makes you really nervous. It's quite scary. "For a young person like me to be spooked like this afterwards, can you imagine what an elderly person would feel like?"Recorder Munro said Mr Keeling, of Queen Street, had had a Dickensian childhood, having been taught by his father to steal. She said he had made a career out of crime but had since got a job, got engaged, and even got a TV license.She acknowledged the distress his actions had on Mr Bleazard, but attributed it as a resort to pay bills.Mr Bleazard said: "If he's struggling with bills now, how's he going to manage with 300 hours of free work? The recorder doesn't seem to have taken into account that he's still going to have bills."I wish I was there at the sentencing and could have put my point across."Mr Bleazard described how when he found Mr Keeling in his house, he had a clear escape route and jumped 10ft from the balcony and ran off. Mr Bleazard then got in his car to look for him. When he caught up with him, he rang the police who advised him not to approach Mr Keeling."For me, the police were amazing," said Mr Bleazard. "They arrived on the scene within five minutes, made thorough use of resources and did a fantastic job."My goods were recovered and I was obviously glad to get them back."Meanwhile, a Seaton businessman is urging Recorder Munro QC to give him a call, "day or night" - to explain if he would be given the same treatment in court."I own several businesses and, like many others in my situation, am finding it hard at the moment, with the credit crunch," said Raymond Cosaitis, of The Hook and Parrot pub."If I go out and commit burglaries, will I get away with it?"Would I be lucky enough to come before Ms Munro?"I'd like to point out, I also have a TV license!"Mr Cosaitis believes Ms Munro QC owes the public an explanation for her decision and is urging her to contact him on (01803) 296993.

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