Pub burglar gets jail term

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A MAN who burgled a Whitwell pub and took a car from the premises has been locked up for six months.

Carl Hirst was renting a flat at the Boot and Shoe in March 2009 when he committed the offences.

Chesterfield magistrates heard that Hirst, 32, broke into the function room where an unsuccessful attempt was made to rifle two gaming machines.

He stole a disc jockey’s laptop and a phone and then packed his belongings and left, said Angela Hadfield, prosecuting.

She told the court a Rover City car was also taken from the premises. Hirst had earlier driven owner Teresa Christie and Joseph Harding home from the pub in it.

The car was subsequently found abandoned on a private driveway in Carlton. It was undamaged and the keys were in the ignition, but a spare wheel and a drill were missing.

Hirst, who moved to Keighley, West Yorkshire, following the offences, denied burglary, taking a vehicle without consent and sending an offensive message but was convicted in September 2009 when he failed to attend his trial.

He was eventually arrested in Basingstoke, Hampshire, and the stolen laptop was recovered. Hirst was brought back to court and duly jailed for a total of 26 weeks.

“He was living above the Boot and Shoe at the time and he left for personal reasons. He left the car in the pub car park and denies taking it to Worksop,” said Bob Bashforth, for Hirst.

“He didn’t attend his trial because he misunderstood a solicitors’ letter and thought he did not need to attend on that date. He then wasn’t arrested for 18 months.”

The court heard that Hirst was convicted of theft from a dwelling in 2003.