A PORTLAND man has been jailed for burgling a home in the early hours while a tenant slept upstairs.
Liam Charles Jarman, aged 21, was convicted of breaking into a flat adjoining the Portline taxi office in Victoria Square on September 4 last year and sentenced to a year in prison.
A trial at Dorchester Crown Court heard how he was spotted by security guards working at the Paralympic sailing venue who alerted the police.
One told the court he had heard a ‘loud noise, like a door being kicked in’ and saw two men arguing in the doorway of the Portline office.
He said they left, but a short while later, the man who was identified as Jarman returned and went back inside.
Jarman, of Tillycombe Road, stole several keys, including those to a Mercedes which was parked at the back of the property, from a key holder disguised as a clock in the entrance hall.
A jury unanimously found Jarman, who said he was ‘seven’ on a scale of 10 for drunkenness, guilty of the offence.
He had tried to flee from the scene, pulling his top over his head to disguise his appearance but was stopped and searched by police as seen in CCTV shown to the jury.
He had dumped the keys in an alleyway near the Little Ship pub and had scaled a fence to try to get away from the police, the court heard.
At the time, the court heard, officers were unaware of the burglary but arrested Jarman at his home at around 8.30am later that day.
Jarman was convicted in 2009 along with Daniel Ford for robbing 16-year-old pizza delivery boy David Hallet, who died two months later in a moped crash.
Jarman told the jury that Ford had been the other male with him seen by the security guards on the night in question.
Sentencing Jarman to one year in prison, Judge Roger Jarvis said it was fortunate the tenant had not woken when the burglary took place.
The court had been told she had only been alerted when her taxi-driver partner came home from the late shift.
Judge Jarvis said: “It is a matter of common sense that she would be upset to learn, while alone, a female, in the early hours of the morning a stranger had entered into the property.”
A statement from the victims of the burglary said the incident had a lasting effect and had made them feel unsafe in their home.
Judge Jarvis said: “You do not have any convictions for burglary.
“However, you have a very worrying recent conviction for robbery and you were given a chance on that occasion.”
He added: “Young men who drink and then, in the middle of the night, break into other people’s property can only expect one punishment by way of a custodial sentence.”