A burglar “fell back into his old ways” of taking drugs and breaking into houses just nine days after being released from a prison, a court has heard.
Kristian Evans sneaked into his victim’s property and stole a computer games console and other items which he then tried to pawn to raise money to buy drugs.
Sending the 39-year-old back to prison a judge told him he already spent a good deal of his adult life in custody and now seemed determined to spend his middle age in the same way.
Swansea Crown Court heard that on the morning of August 19 this year Evans entered a house in Westbury Street in the Uplands area of the city through a closed but unlocked front door. He helped himself to a PlayStation computer games console, a selection of games, a computer hard drive, and an Amazon TV Fire stick from the living room.
Craig Jones, prosecuting, said the homeowner was present at the time and in another part of the property. Moments after Evans must have left she entered the room and realised items were gone. She went out into the street and saw a man nearby. She called to the figure, now known to be Evans, and asked him if he had seen anyone leaving her house. Evans hurried off and the victim realised he must have been the intruder.
The prosecutor said the victim reported the burglary to the police then rang a number of pawn shops in Swansea to given them details of the stolen items. The next day Evans went to the Cash@Maxx shop in the city centre and tried to sell the electrical items he had stolen but when staff checked the serial number of the hard drive they declined the transaction. Mr Jones said the defendant asked the staff in terms who had called them, adding: “Was it my missus? I don’t want to go to jail.”
Evans was identified by police and arrested the following week. When searched he was found to be in possession of 30 Valium tablets. The stolen goods have never been recovered. The court heard the defendant had been released from prison on licence following a previous conviction for burglary on August 10 – just nine days before the Uplands break-in.
Kristian Dee Evans, of Carlton Terrace, Mount Pleasant, Swansea, admitted burglary. He has 27 previous convictions for 61 offences stretching back over two decades and including house burglaries, robberies, public order matters, shoplifting, and possession of Class A and Class B drugs. Following his arrested for the August 19 burglary he was recalled to prison to serve the remainder of his previous five-and-a-half year burglary sentence and is not due to be released from that sentence until September 2022.
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Dan Griffiths, for Evans, said the only mitigation he could put forward on behalf of his client was his guilty plea. He said the defendant had been released from prison on August 10 and “it seems he fell back into his old ways almost immediately” of abusing heroin and Valium and offending in order to fund that habit. The advocate said Evans had consumed “a large quantity” of Valium on the day in question and the sole purpose of the burglary had been to obtain electrical items to sell in order to buy more drugs.
Mr Griffiths added: “The sad reality of his life at the moment is that he is unable to cope in the community.”
Judge Paul Thomas QC told the defendant that at the age of 39 he had a “quite disgraceful” record for offences of dishonesty and that “your profession is that of a dwelling house burglar”. He said courts take the offence of burglary seriously because of the effect on the victims who never feel quite the same way again about their homes knowing they have been invaded by a stranger.
The judge told Evans: “You have spent a fair part of your adult life in custody and it seems you are determined to spend much of your middle age in the same way. Whether you do or not is up to you.”
With credit for his guilty plea Evans was sentenced to four years in prison. He will serve up to half that period in custody before being released on licence to serve the remainder in the community.
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