A homeless heroin addict who burgled a dedicated and hardworking businessman’s shop in the dead of night has been jailed.
Lewis Frederick Brown, 38, used a brick inside a plastic bag – along with punches and kicks – to smash a hole in the window of Sole It Lock It, Murray Road, at 1am on March 4 before entering the store and snatching watches worth hundreds of pounds.
In a statement, the shocked owner described the financial challenges presented by the COVID pandemic, and revealed the distressing impact of Brown’s crime.
“It feels as though somebody has intruded into my life and my personal space,” he stated.
“He just does not understand the kind of effects that this has had on me.”
Brown – on prison licence at the time – was arrested and admitted burglary with intent to steal, plus pinching razor blades and printer ink from Workington’s Tesco store, and a public order offence after he was seen fighting in the street, on January 31, with an unknown male.
Both were “covered in blood”, Carlisle Crown Court was told today, and a witness to the violence was left “upset and terrified”.
Kim Whittlestone, defending, spoke of heavily convicted Brown’s long-standing and crippling heroin addiction, and said he was without a pharmacy medicine script and “desperate” when his wrongdoing occurred.”
Jailing Brown, of no fixed address, for 10 months, Judge Nicholas Barker heard of his 117 past offences and described him as “not just persistent but relentless in your commission of crime.”
Judge Barker said of the burglary victim: “He is a proud, dedicated, hard-working shop owner running a business, trying to provide a service to those in Workington; trying to maintain that business during the pandemic so that he can make a living and have a business that he still hopes, no doubt, will grow and flourish once normality returns.
“Not that any of that will have been in your mind when you attacked his property, thinking only of yourself, thinking only of what you wanted.”