Ipswich: Burglar with more than 150 offences jailed again

Burglar Michael Harvey, who was jailed for three years

Burglar Michael Harvey, who was jailed for three years - Credit: Contributed

A prolific criminal with more than 150 offences to his name is back behind bars after committing a burglary less than a month after being released from prison.

Michael Harvey, who has previous convictions for dishonesty, was on licence at the time of the burglary in Landseer Road, Ipswich.

The 34-year-old, of Reynolds Avenue, in Ipswich, had denied burglary and handling stolen goods when he appeared for trial at Norwich Crown Court.

However he was convicted of both offences and sentenced to three years’ imprisonment.

Harvey was one of a number of people arrested in raids on 24 premises across Suffolk in December last year by teams of police working on an ongoing operation codenamed Drawbridge.

Harvey had been released from a previous prison sentence on November 28 last year.

On December 14 he committed the break-in in Landseer Road during which an Acer laptop and a iPod speaker dock were stolen.

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The handling stolen goods offence he was convicted of by Norwich Crown Court occurred sometime between December 13 and January 20. It involved a Toshiba laptop stolen during a burglary in Colchester Road on December 7.

Harvey was also jailed for two-and-a-half years in May 2010 after carrying out a burglary spree.

The crack cocaine addict broke into five homes in the space of a few days in January, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Harvey had turned to breaking into houses that year, the court was told.

Sentencing him, Recorder John Akast said: “During almost all of his criminal time, although his behaviour is disreputable, he didn’t commit burglary until nine months ago. He has a shocking general record.”

On one occasion Harvey was confronted by the tenant of a two-bedroom property in Ashmere Grove, Ipswich.

The tenant returned home late in the evening on January 16.

He saw Harvey’s head appear around the bedroom door and then disappear.

The tenant chased Harvey downstairs and caught up with him in the kitchen.

Harvey apologised to the tenant and emptied the intruder’s pockets of the items he had stolen on to the kitchen table. Before fleeing Harvey said: “It’s my first time. I have got a crack habit.”

During his Ipswich sentencing the court heard Harvey had been before courts on 38 occasions for 149 different offences.

Operation Drawbridge is a countywide initiative, aimed at reducing the number of burglaries across the county and increasing the number of crimes being ‘solved’ with offenders brought to justice.