Burglar given 24-week sentence for attempting to steal suitcase from Weymouth hotel (From Dorset Echo)
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Father-of-four Lee Campbell handed sentence for attempted suitcase burglary from Richmoor Hotel in Weymouth
A BURGLAR who attempted to make off with a suitcase from a Weymouth hotel room has been jailed for 24 weeks.
Father-of-four Lee James Campbell, 34, pictured below, was handed a prison sentence at Dorchester Crown Court after admitting the burglary at the Richmoor Hotel, which is situated on The Esplanade on April 19.
Prosecutor Robert Griffiths said the occupants of the hotel room were out for the evening when Campbell, of Bradford Road, Weymouth, entered at around midnight.
He was spotted leaving the premises on the hotel’s CCTV carrying something and Tom Godwin, who is the son of the proprietor and chef at the hotel, gave chase.
Campbell was seen getting on a bicycle a short distance from the hotel and there were a number of items including a laptop and the suitcase on the ground.
As Mr Godwin gave chase he was threatened by the defendant, who said he would stab him if he continued his pursuit.
The police were contacted and Campbell was eventually arrested in an alleyway near Carlton Road North.
He was found to have a box of fake eye lashes on him that were believed to have come from the hotel and a bottle of pills he told police he needed was found at the scene of the burglary.
Mr Griffiths said Campbell declined to answer any questions when he was interviewed by the police but pleaded guilty on his first appearance at court.
Patricia Sheehan, mitigating, said the defendant – who has 32 convictions for 54 offences – had been drinking on the night of the offence.
She accepted he had a poor record but said he was finally willing to accept help in a bid to turn his life around.
Ms Shee- han said: “He has accepted that he needs help and he is ready to seek help.”
Judge Roger Jarvis told Campbell that the burglary was ‘by any measure a serious offence’.
He said: “Even though it is a hotel room people feel a sense of outrage when what they view as their personal space has been invaded in that you did.
“It was most fortunate that you were spotted and the proprietor’s son followed.
“You made some pretty terrifying threats to him.”
Sentence is welcomed
RICHMOOR Hotel proprietor Loraine Godwin, pictured above, welcomed the jail sentence given Campbell.
The act was caught on CCTV and Mrs Godwin said the case proved those stealing from her business would be caught.
Mrs Godwin said: “I just think it’s very hard being a business person in this town and people think they have the right to come and take from you when we work really hard to make money.
“This young man did that and we caught him, we had the CCTV all round the hotel and when we catch people who steal from here we will always prosecute.
“It’s wrong for people to think they can do this.
“I’m glad he’s going to prison, I think he deserves to go there.”