A burglar who broke into the room of another resident at a Watford hostel was told by a judge today (Friday, January 18) that he would be going straight to prison if he committed another crime.
Codie Holtum, 18, caused the victim to lose valuable work from his IT course when he dumped the man’s laptop in a bin.
Prosecution Charles Judge told St Albans Crown Court that Holtum had been staying at the hostel in Hagden Road for 3 months when he removed a pane of glass to get into the man’s room.
He stole a Sony laptop, a tablet, chargers, headphones and two watches. CCTV showed the defendant outside the room, carrying a bag.
The manager spoke to Holtum and searched his room. In it was one of the watches, the chargers and headphones. The laptop, tablet and pane of glass had been put in a bin.
The other watch, a gift from the victim’s girlfriend, was recovered from Cash Converters after Holtum’s mother handed over a receipt.
Holtum pleaded guilty to carrying out the burglary on 3 October last year and breaching a conditional discharge.
On 6 June last year Holtum, of Chestnut Walk, Watford, had been given a 12-month conditional discharge for stealing a Playstation from a children’s home in Stevenage. He had earlier received a referral order for theft from a person.
Defending, Jamil Mohammed said: “What he did was foolish, foolhardy and inexcusable. He understands the seriousness of it and is remorseful.”
He said his client was part of the care system.
Judge Michael Kay QC told him: “On June 6 last year you were sentenced to burglary and, four months later you are back in court, having committed a very similar offence.
“This is your last chance – if you commit further offences you will be not be walking out of the court but into the prison van.”
The judge sentenced him to eight months’ detention suspended for 18 months, saying he must complete 30 days of a rehabilitation activity requirement.