Serial St Albans burglar jailed

PUBLISHED: 09:54 20 November 2009 | UPDATED: 14:41 06 May 2010

AN UNEMPLOYED stepdad who was depressed about the breakup of his relationship was arrested after he was injured in a fight with accomplices in a burglary, a court heard. Leslie Palmer yesterday received an 18-month prison sentence for an orgy of offending

AN UNEMPLOYED stepdad who was depressed about the breakup of his relationship was arrested after he was injured in a fight with accomplices in a burglary, a court heard.

Leslie Palmer yesterday received an 18-month prison sentence for an orgy of offending in which he broke into houses, fought his accomplices in a burglary and assaulted a police officer.

The 32-year-old got drunk and went on the crime spree after being under stress of the breakdown of the relationship with his partner and rows about access to his stepchild, a court heard.

Prosecuting, Peter Shaw, told St Albans Crown Court that on October 18, that Palmer, aged 32, had got in a fight with his accomplices in Sandridge Road, St Albans, after they had committed a burglary.

Police received several calls from concerned members of the public saying they had seen three or four men attacking another man.

He said: "When police arrived, they saw the defendant and saw that his face was covered in blood. They gathered that he had been involved in a fight.

"They saw him running off towards Sandpit Road and they apprehended him. They asked him what had happened.

"He said: 'It is fine, I will sort this out myself. Can I go now?'

Mr Shaw said police noticed that the defendant smelt strongly of alcohol and he was arrested.

It later transpired that Palmer, of Oysterfields, St Albans, had gone to commit the burglary with men he met in the homeless hostel where he had been staying.

On the way out, he had argued with his accomplices because they had wanted him to carry a television set and a fight had broken out, the court heard.

He had also punched a motorist who refused to give him a lift because he was covered in blood after the fight

While at the police station, he elbowed a police officer in the face while being booked into custody because he disagreed with the officer's account of what led to his arrest, said Mr Shaw.

The court heard that while serving a suspended sentence, Palmer had broken into a farm house in Wilkins Green Lane, Hatfield, but was discovered by the woman who lived in the house.

Mr Shaw said: "She asked what he was doing there and he grabbed a bottle of alcohol and rang."

On another occasion, he stole pot plants and caused damage to a door in a burglary.

Defending, Simon Smith, said his client had been suffering from depression about the breakup of his relationship and lack of access to his stepson, a child who had always treated as his own.

Sentencing him for burglary, burglary with intent, assault and assaulting a police officer: Judge Stephen Gullick said: "The only sentence I can impose is one of immediate custody."

He sentenced the defendant to a total of 18 months including activating a previous three month suspended sentence for having a bladed article.


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