Lowestoft: Man handed himself into police to ‘wipe slate clean’

Ipswich Crown Court

Ipswich Crown Court

A burglar who wanted to “wipe the slate clean” handed himself into the police and offered to identify a house he had broken into, a court has heard.

Liam McCarthy walked into Lowestoft police station on May 26 and announced that he wanted to admit stealing a television from a hostel he had been staying following his release from an earlier prison sentence, Ipswich Crown Court was told.

While he was being driven to a police interview centre at Great Yarmouth he asked officers if they could make a detour to Oulton Broad so that he could show them where he had committed a burglary, said Michael Crimp, prosecuting.

McCarthy directed officers to a house in Sands Lane which he had broken into several weeks earlier while the owner was on holiday.

Mr Crimp said that an untidy search had been made of the premises and in addition to a quantity of clothing belonging to the owner’s son being taken items of jewellery including a £650 ring, a wedding ring and an inscribed ring were also stolen.

He said the value of the stolen property was hundreds of pounds and some of it had been recovered.

He told the court that without McCarthy volunteering information about the burglary his involvement may have remained undetected.

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McCarthy, 25, of no fixed address admitted burglary and theft and was jailed for 12 months.

The court heard that in September 2011 McCarthy was jailed for 39 months for five burglaries in Ipswich.

Mr Crimp told the court that when McCarthy handed himself into the police he said he had pawned the television he had stolen from the hostel at Cash Converters and had hoped to buy it back.

However by the time he was due to leave the hostel he hadn’t managed to save enough money to redeem it and had decided to go to the police as it was only a matter of time until staff at the hostel realised it was missing.

Richard Conley for McCarthy said he had handed himself into the police and had pointed out the house he had burgled out of a genuine sense of remorse and a desire to wipe the slate clean.

He said his client had experienced a number of problems while living at the hostel and had resorted to drink. “His judgement was impaired and he committed the offences. He is deeply remorseful for his actions,” said Mr Conley.