Burglar spared jail after causing £2k damage to St Albans’ Waffle House restaurant

PUBLISHED: 12:00 24 April 2017

Waffle House

Waffle House

Archant

A drug-addicted burglar who caused £2,000-worth of damage to the Waffle House in St Albans has been spared prison.

Darren McKay, 33, and another man, broke into the St Michael’s Street restaurant between 2am and 3am on Sunday, January 8.

On Thursday, McKay appeared at St Albans crown court for sentence having earlier admitted to burglary.

Prosecutor Daniel Siong said nothing had been stolen from the eatery, but there was a large amount of damage.

McKay’s DNA was found on the safe, and he was also identified on CCTV.

He had previous convictions for burglary.

His defence, Hannah Beer, told the court how in 2013 another St Albans judge had given McKay the chance to go into rehab.

Before he could take up this opportunity though, McKay was sent to prison in Scotland for three years for other offences.

Ms Beer pleaded with the judge to put McKay in rehab, as he did not want to go the same way as his father, who had died from a drug overdose in prison when McKay was only seven years old.

Judge Andrew Bright QC said McKay had an appalling record, and added: “If you are going to reform it will be now or not at all.

“With help and support you can address your underlying drug problem.”

He passed an 18 month sentence suspended for two years. McKay will go on a 12-month drug rehabilitation requirement, with 20 days of a rehabilitation activity requirement.

He must also pay £300 costs at the rate of £10 a week.

The judge said: “I hope you get your life back on track before it is too late.”

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CountryPhile

I should probably have taken the hint! Walking out into the garden recently an unprecedented flock of thirty or more crows raucously greeted me from the treetops at the bottom of my garden. Cawing and croaking these big, black birds clung clumsily to the top most branches and twigs, jostling and flapping to stay balanced in a constant flurry of feathers. There is always something ominous about crows – they are after all carrion crows, the vultures of the bird world – always watching for scraps and weakness that might mean their next meal.

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