A TADLEY man with a long history of violence and burglary has been jailed after breaking into a local business – just three months after he was released from a seven-year stretch in prison.
Winchester Crown Court heard that Leslie Dodge had been jailed for public protection in 2006 for an indefinite period of time, with a minimum term of four years.
He was sent to prison following a brutal attack in which he battered his girlfriend and attacked his brother with kitchen knives.
He was released in July last year on licence but on October 25 he broke into a hut owned by P J Busby & Sons, in Main Road, Tadley, and stole a laptop, telephone equipment and a chequebook.
The court heard that the cost to the joinery specialist business was around £1,300.
Dodge, 44, was caught after police found a footprint matching his own, and his blood at the scene.
It is thought he cut himself trying and failing to open a safe.
Prosecuting, Tom Wright said Dodge had gained access by smashing a window and had performed an untidy search before making off with the equipment.
The business is a short walk from Dodge’s home in Hartley Gardens, Tadley.
Defending Dodge, Giles Newell said that he had been diagnosed with Huntington’s disease in 2008 and had not collected his medication, from his doctors in Basingstoke, in the days prior to the burglary.
The disease damages certain brain cells and can affect movement, cognition and behaviour.
Mr Newell said: “It is no excuse but he was not himself.” He added that his client will be in jail for at least 18 months before he will face the parole board and has no release date in sight.
The court heard Dodge has 27 convictions for 60 previous offences since 1984, including actual bodily harm, robbery, assaulting police, burglary, theft, handling stolen goods, obtaining property by deception and criminal damage.
Judge Jane Miller said: “The cost (of the burglary) could be said to be significant to a small firm of builders.”
She sentenced Dodge to 12 months imprisonment for the burglary, but he faces a much longer sentence because he was on licence when he committed the offence.